John Rankin Rathbone
Field: Politician; airman
Location in the Abbey: St Margaret's Church

In St Margaret's church Westminster is a small 15th century carved figure of St Margaret of Antioch and the dragon given in memory of John Rankin Rathbone. The inscription on the plate reads: 

"Presented by his wife and children John and Pauline in loving memory of Fl. Lt. John Rankin Rathbone R.A.F.V.R. killed in bombing operations against the enemy December 1940. M.P.for South East Cornwall, Churchwarden of St Margaret's Westminster 1937-40"

He was born on 5 February 1910 a son of Major W.Rathbone and his wife Agnes (Rankin). The family were merchants from Liverpool and several served as Members of Parliament. In 1932 he married Beatrice Clough of New Haven, USA. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Civil Lord of the Admiralty and secretary to the Minister of Supply and lived at 4B Dean's Yard in the precincts of Westminster Abbey. He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was killed on 10 December 1940 and is buried at Schoonselhof cemetery in Antwerp. A memorial service was held at the church on 29 January 1941.

His brother Henry was killed in 1943. Beatrice married secondly Sir Paul H.Giraud Wright, diplomat, and served as a Member of Parliament.

A photo of the statue can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

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