She came to England to study at Oxford where she met and later married John Rathbone, with whom she had two children, including Tim, later MP for Lewes. Her husband was elected in 1935 as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodmin, but was killed in December 1940 in the Battle of Britain, aged 30. In March 1941 she was elected unopposed as his successor, and sat in the Commons for the rest of World War II. She stepped down at the 1945 general election, after becoming the first sitting MP to give birth to a child.
She served as Vice President of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf from 1978 to 2003, and was a founder in 1982 of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, serving as the charity's President until 1988. In 1996, she was awarded an MBE.
The Beatrice Wright Training Centre for hearing dogs, in Bielby, East Riding of Yorkshire, is named after her.
- "Hearing Dogs: our history". www.hearingdogs.org.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- Beatrice Wright (Beatrice Rathbone) at the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics
- Obituary, Sir Paul Wright, Daily Telegraph 2005-06-13
- Obituary, Sir Paul Wright, The Times 2005-06-30
- History of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Beatrice Wright
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|Member of Parliament for Bodmin
Sir Douglas Marshall
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