Eldest son of William Rathbone VIII (1880-1941) and Agnes Dorothea (Dora) Rankin (c.1876-1945).
m. 1932 Peggie Lubbock, daughter of Cecil and Edith Lubbock. Two children:
William Rathbone X
Penelope (later Holeton)
He was educated at Oxford University, and rowed for the Oxford boat club. During the Second World War he served as armament officer in the Auxiliary Air Force and then the Pathfinder Force. He continued the family tradition of support for District Nursing, organising the Greater London Provident Scheme before the war whereby employers contributed 2d a week for the services of a district nurse for unwell employees; later he became president of the Queen's Institute for District Nursing.
See RP XXV: Papers of William Gair Rathbone VII, particularly: