Obituary: Dr Lotte Theresa Newman CBE

Leading doctor who championed women's roles and rights internationally


My mother who has died aged 90, was a champion of women’s roles and rights both as a doctor and patient. 

Her parents Tilly Meyer and George Neumann met in Frankfurt and both qualified as doctors. George had the foresight to travel to Glasgow in 1933 and requalify as a doctor, to allow his wife, son, daughter and a cousin to travel to England in 1938 and escape the fate of many. 

She said: “I remember the night we went. We were woken up, I presume it was after midnight, and dressed and told to be quiet and not make a noise and taken to the train. I don’t remember much until we were on the train near the frontier. I presumed it was a normal stop and my mother was taken off the train and then, I presume I was between seven and eight, I was very conscious of the fear that my mother wouldn’t come back. I didn’t really quite know what it was all about.” 

With her father established as a GP they avoided internment and she started at a local school, speaking little English. At the age of 11 she obtained a scholarship to North London Collegiate School. Lotte studied at Birmingham, King’s College London and Westminster Hospital Medical Schools, gaining a BSc in 1951, an MB BS, an LRCP and MRCS in 1957, and her FRCGP in 1977. Initially working as a casualty officer and paediatric house officer at Westminster Children’s Hospital, she went on to work in general medicine at St Stephen’s hospital in Fulham. In 1958, as a qualified GP, she assisted her father, now George Newman, in his Edgware practice before setting up her own, the Cholmley Gardens Medical centre. As  it grew, her assistant Dr Tony Antoniou became her partner and they launched the Abbey Medical Centre, in 1968.   

Their NHS practice served patients in Kilburn, West Hampstead, St John’s Wood, Swiss Cottage and Hampstead, and Lotte ran the practices for 45 years. 

During this period, she developed national and international medical interests, holding a host of top positions,and lectureships, including president of the Royal College of Medical Practitioners, (1996-1998) and president of both the Medical Women’s Federation 1987-1988 and the International Society of Medicine (1988-1989). She was advisor to the World Health Organisation, and several Home Office tribunals in the 1990s; Chief Medical advisor to St John’s Ambulance 1999-2002 and a member of the parole Board 1992-94. 

Lotte was married to Norman Aronsohn for 60 years and they had four children. She was a practising Jew and a representative on the Board of Deputies. As a mother she didn’t espouse feminist politics but her actions spoke her beliefs. She publicly stated that as a woman there were only two options: “If you speak out you’re a shrieking harridan, if you keep quiet you’re a shrinking violet.”

Lotte was made an OBE in 1991, and awarded CBE in 1998.  She attributed her remarkable success to  –“Luck, very good support from my family, being prepared to be unpopular at times – and always being at least as well prepared as the men at meetings!”

Lotte is survived by her husband Norman, children Simone, Simon, David and Alexander and seven grandchildren. 

Dr Lotte Newman: born January 22. 1929. 
Died April 26, 2019

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