Lieutenant Colonel the Honourable Sir Jonathan F. Lawford, MBE, is the current officer in command of the Royal Marine's Twenty-First Regiment. Since purchasing an ensign's commission in May of 1739, Lawford has achieved many feats unusual to an officer his age. He was given command of his own company at the extremely young age of fourteen, and became a major only a year and a half later. Now, at the still young age of sixteen, Lawford commands the men of the Twenty-First as they fight against Spain in the West Indies.
"Damn your eyes, sir. I'll either stand long enough to die, or run fast enough to live. If it's up to me, I take the first." - Lawford when ordered to retreat.
Born on November 11, 1729, to Edward and Elizabeth Lawford, Jonathan quickly grew adept to country life. Living in a large estate outside Dublin, Ireland, he was taught by his parents many skills such as riding, hunting, sewing, craftsmanship, violin, and most reluctantly, politics. At age eight, he attended a school in Blessington, southwest of Dublin. He studied for one year there, before purchasing a comission into the Royal Marines as a staff officer and being sent off to the West Indies.
After spending several months on the staff, serving tea to generals and colonels, Jonathan was surprised to find that his services were needed in another way. As a young ensign, he was attached to the Seventeenth Regiment and sent along with the regiment to assist the defenders of Port Tariff as they fought enemy soldiers that had attacked the island. After rushing to the defense of a battery of artillery, and rallying a company of soldiers into square just seconds before a squadron of dragoons charged the company, Jonathan was promoted to lieutenant and placed into the light company of the Seventeenth.
After spending two years in the regiment as a lieutenant, Jonathan was transferred to the Twenty-First Regiment, another British infantry regiment stationed in the West Indies. While defending a bridge during the action at Swann's Heights, the captain of his company was struck down by the sword of an enemy cavalry officer. Avenging his captain and strengthening the men's spirits, fourteen year old Jonathan raised a cheer as he rushed ahead of the line to pull the enemy officer down from his saddle and kill him. Although he didn't realize it in the heat of the moment, by replacing the late commander of the company, Jonathan was given a brevet captaincy.
Lieutenant Colonel in Command of the Twenty-First Royal Marines Fifth Lord of the Royal Treasury Lord Speaker of the British Parliament Lord Diplomat of the British Government Lord Director of the British Board of the Warfare Director of North American Diplomatic Affairs to Great Britain Viceroy of Ireland Knight of His Majesty the King Duke of Essex Minister of Security for the Royal Family