THE family of adventurer and photographer Alan Villiers said it would be a 'proud moment' tomorrow when he is honoured with a blue plaque at his former Summertown home.

Mr Villiers famously ended a career on the high seas by captaining Mayflower II, a replica of the Pilgrim Fathers' 17th century ship, on its maiden voyage to America in 1957.

He also took 5,000 still photographs to preserve the last days of merchant sailing for posterity, a collection on display at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

Tomorrow at the family home in Lucerne Road a blue plaque will be unveiled in his honour.

His widow Nancie, 101, who still lives in the house, will be at the ceremony with their three children, Kit, Peter and Katherine.

Kit Villiers said: "I'm very proud, and so is the whole family - my mother is going to be 102 later this year and she kept asking her doctor to keep her alive long enough to see the unveiling.

"She was instrumental in the installation of the blue plaque in Marston for Norman Heatley - who developed penicillin - and managed to get them to consider one for her late husband.

"It's going to be a proud moment with all the family and guests there."

Mr Villiers, who died in 1982 aged 78, was born in Melbourne and spent much of his life at sea after setting sail at the age of 15.

He wrote more than 40 book on first hand experiences of the traditional sailing trades and practices on routes from Australia to England, in the Persian Gulf and as far as south as the Antarctic.

During the Second World War he commanded a flotilla of landing craft in the Normandy Landings and later at Rangoon, Malaya, and Singapore before settling in Oxford in the 1950s.

His son Kit, a 74-year-old retired solicitor, who lives at the Lucerne Road house, said it was his father's determination that made all his achievements possible.

He said: "He was very single-minded in that he wanted to put the days of sail on the map, not just with his research but in going to sail with these ships - he was very hard working and determined.

"He began as a reporter in Hobart, Australia, and he found he had a gift for writing and it was this combined with his love of travel that equipped him well."

Secretary of the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board, Eda Forbes, said: "We received a proposal for him and we discovered he had such an amazing career.

"He had a passion to record, for posterity, the last days of sails and it is that combined with being an adventurer that makes his legacy."

The plaque will be unveiled at 3pm tomorrow and Mr Villiers' crew member on Mayflower II, David Thorpe, will be the guest speaker.