John Collingwood was born in 1062 on Deneb/DENEB. The son of an important noble and politician, Spencer Collingwood, John attended the 'right' schools and appeared to be headed for a career in politics, the "family business". John had other ideas, planning a life of adventure. He and His father quarreled, and both had inherited the Collingwood temper. Finally, after completing prep school, John left home to seek his own fortune, his father disinheriting him.
Beginning his career at age 16 as an enlisted recruit in the Imperial Army (he lied about his age), he first distinguished himself during the Tegerian emergency of 1079, where he was wounded, received his first MCG and was given a battlefield commission. Completing service in the emergency as a brevet captain, he elected to attend the Imperial Military Academy at Deneb, and graduated 2nd in his class.
Within days of graduating, he was back in the field, commanding a platoon during the Sparan uprising. He ended the crisis as a Captain with an MCUF and another Purple Heart.
Collingwood proved to be a natural leader with a brilliant sense of both tactics and strategy. He also looked out for his men, who nicknamed him "Tiger" for his large frame and violent temper. At this time Collingwood also renewed his friendship with childhood playmate Paolo Astridi. Astridi used his growing political influence to see that Collingwood got noticed and got important commands. Fortunately, Collingwood's ability continued to exceed the challenges he was given, though his intolerance for incompetence caused some problems with his less able peers.
It was at this time that Collingwood met and wooed the beautiful Baroness Caroline van der Scheusse, known to her friends as "Bunny" for her extremely quiet and shy nature. Somehow the dashing, loud extrovert and the retiring baroness hit it off, and were married in military style six months later. Collingwood gained not only a wife, but an influential father-in-law who saw to it that his daughter's husband got noticed by the right people.
Collingwood continued to rise in the military, attaining the rank of full general at the age of 46. He held many important commands during the 5th Frontier War, and was decorated many times. However, elevation in noble rank eluded him, thanks to the interference of his father, and a bitter rivalry developed as the son's star began to outshine that of the father. Bunny tried on several occasions to heal the family rift, but only ended up being caught up in it. It was at this point she began drinking heavily.
After a masterful final campaign during the war, Collingwood was given his baton, achieving the rank of Field Marshal. Not even his father's influence could prevent the Emperor from making him Count Collingwood.
With the war over, Collingwood began political manuevers in ernest, helped by his good friend Paolo Astridi. The two also caroused together, while delicate Bunny slowly went to seed.
With the reintegration of Regina into the Imperium, Astridi, now Arch-Duke, arranged for his friend to be appointed governor, with the expectation that he would eventually be raised to Duke, thereby achieving one of his lifelong ambitions--to outrank his father.
Field Marshal Collingwood died on 99 - 1122 from an accidental gunshot wound to the head.
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