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Paddy Ashdown was born in New Delhi in 1941. At 4 years old, his family returned to Britain, and between 1959 and 1972 he served in the Royal Marines and saw active service as a Commando Officer in Borneo and the Persian Gulf. He was elected to Parliament in the 1983 General Election and was elected Leader of the Liberal Democrats in July 1988. Paddy stood down as the leader of the Liberal Democrats in 1999 and retired from the Commons in 2001. He was made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2000 and a Life Peer in 2001. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in 2006 for his work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He now sits in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat peer. His most recent book is A Brilliant Little Operation, about World War II’s Cockleshell Heroes.