Raymond was the son of the Swiss writer, Comte Guy de Pourtales and his wife, Helene E von Marcuard. He was born in Geneva. The family were of Huguenot descent and, over the generations, moved between Germany, France and Switzerland.

He was educated at Lycee Louis-le-Grand, Paris and came up to Christ Church in 1933. He graduated with a 2nd in German and Italian in 1936. After graduating, he attended the University of Paris and was on the Reserve of Officers at Saint-Cyr.

On 3 September 1939, he joined the 4ème Régiment d'Infanterie.

He married Yvonne Delmas at Passy on 11 March 1940. They had a son, Alexis, who was born in Paris on 17 January 1941 and died in 2005.

On 10 May 1940, the day on which Germany invaded Belgium, he was the liaison officer between his regiment and the P.C. de la 15ème D.I.M. (Division d'Infanterie Motorisée). On 28 May, he was at a crossroads in the village of Bois-Grenier with Germinal Bernard when they were shot and killed by the Germans.

In 1954, a street in Bois-Grenier was named after him.