He attended Eton College, and Brasenose College, Oxford.
After standing unsuccessfully against the Liberal Party in the 1896 and 1906 elections as a candidate for Reigate, Rawson took a prominent part in reorganising the forces of the Conservative Party in the constituency. As a result, he was successful in the 1910 general election, winning Reigate by a large majority and defeating the incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament, Harry Cunningham Brodie. Reigate has been a Conservative safe seat ever since.
In 1917, unhappy with the new Lloyd George coalition government and angry at the alleged sale of honours, Rawson left the Conservative Party to join the National Party, a right-wing split from the Conservatives.
Colonel Rawson died in Belgravia a month before the Armistice was signed, ending the First World War, and consequently never saw victory. He was still Member of Parliament for Reigate at the time.
The National Party was disbanded soon after.
Although the Party was xenophobic, a trait exacerbated by the war, many National Party policies were progressive and years ahead of their time. They included a call for "honest politics", increased rights for employees and help for soldiers reintegrating into civilian life.
29th United Kingdom Parliament. 30th United Kingdom Parliament.