Michael Villiers

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Sir Michael Villiers
Born 22 June 1907
Died 1990 (aged 82–83)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service 1935–64
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held Chief of the New Zealand Naval Staff (1958–60)
HMS Bulwark (1954–57)
HMS Snipe (1946–47)
HMS Ursa (1945)
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Mentioned in Despatches

Vice Admiral Sir John Michael Villiers, KCB, OBE (22 June 1907 – 1990) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Fourth Sea Lord.

Naval career[edit]

Born the third son of Rear Admiral Edward Villiers[1] (a paternal grandchild of Thomas Hyde Villiers[2]), and educated at Oundle School and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth,[3] Villiers joined the Royal Navy in 1935.[4] and then went onto the staff of the Experimental Signal School at Portsmouth in 1936.[4]

He served in the Second World War as Squadron Signal Officer and Flag Lieutenant to the Admiral commanding the Battle Cruiser Squadron and then transferred to the battleship HMS Warspite in which he took part in the Norwegian campaign.[4] He joined the staff of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay for the planning of the invasion of Sicily in 1943 and then commanded the destroyer HMS Ursa in 1945.[4]

After the war he commanded HMS Snipe on the West Indies Station from 1946 and then joined the Directing Staff at the Joint Services Staff College from 1948.[4] He was appointed Assistant Director of Plans at the Admiralty in 1950 and Queen's Harbourmaster at Malta in 1952.[4] He commanded the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark from 1954 and then became Chief of the Naval Staff for the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1958.[4] He last appointment was as Fourth Sea Lord and Vice Controller of the Navy in 1960 before he retired in 1964.[4]

In retirement he became Lieutenant Governor of Jersey.[5]


In 1936 he married Rosemary Grissell; they had two daughters.[3]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Nicholas Copeman
Fourth Sea Lord and Vice Controller of the Navy
Succeeded by
Sir Raymond Hawkins
Preceded by
John McBeath
Chief of the New Zealand Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Peter Phipps
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir George Erskine
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
Succeeded by
Sir John Davis