Stairs, William Grant
William Grant Stairs, explorer, soldier (b at Halifax 28 Feb 1863; d at Chinde, Mozambique 9 June 1892). He was discoverer of one source of the Nile, the Semliki River, and the first non-African to climb Mount Ruwenzori. Stairs was educated in Halifax, Edinburgh and RMC and was a civil engineer in New Zealand 1882-85. He was then commissioned captain of the Royal Engineers, and achieved distinction as a military commander in the Emin Pasha Rescue Expedition, 1886-89. He became a fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1890. After accepting a commission in the Royal Welsh Regiment, he was appointed by King Leopold to command the force that seized the Katanga (Shaba) copper lands for Belgium. Shortly afterward he died of fever.
See also SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE.