Ghiron Francis marquis de Villa was a son of Guido de Villa, a general on French service who was killed by a cannon-ball in 1648 at the siege of Cremona. Gorton's General Biographical Dictionary (1838) stated that Ghiron Francis de Villa was "one of the most outstanding military officers of the XVII c." (link). I didn't find any mentions where & when he distinguished in any military action before Candia. As far as I understood his success career on Sabaudian service was in a memory of his father, Guido de Villa. He served for many years to Savoy family & in 1648 was General-Lieutenant (second-in-command) in Duke of Modena's French army besieged Spanish-held Cremona. His funeral in the February of 1649 was detailed described in a printed manuscript (link).Ghiron Francis (or Francesco) achieved Marescial di Campo rank on Savoy service after his father's death. Then he became Generale della Cavalleria & General della'Infanteria. In 1664 thanks to Cardinal Mazarini's protection he transferred in the same rank to Venetian service & was sent to Candia. He commanded the garrison in 1665-68 & was several times wounded in Turkish assaults. In 1668 he left Venetian service "in consequence of intrigues he had suffered".