Children’s author Lotte Moore – obituary

Image above: Lotte Moore, who died, aged 87 on 12 July

Best known for her wartime memoir Lotte Moore – A Child’s War

Obituary by Nicholas Bromley

Though Lotte Moore only took up her pen in 2006 at the age of 70, she managed to write and publish over 25 children’s books in her lifetime as well as novels, poetry collections and a biography.

Ink ran in the family. Her grandfather was the writer and humourist A.P. Herbert and her father John Pudney, besides being a novelist and journalist, was one of the foremost poets of his generation. Lotte’s early childhood was spent as an evacuee during World War Two and this experience was embedded in her memory.

Alan Herbert and his wife Gwen lived on Hammersmith Terrace and it was in this house both during and after the War that Lotte felt truly at home.

Encouraged and supported by her grandmother, she trained at the Royal Ballet School and had a career with the Royal Opera Ballet before becoming an actress on film and stage. Her family connections meant that she encountered the Good and Great from Churchill downwards but she would never play that card intentionally. It was the humour of the occasions that sparked her reminiscences and she delighted in relating the puncture of famous egos. She had an infectious personality, was a born raconteur and lived life to the full.

She returned to Hammersmith Terrace when she married Chris Moore and it was there, after raising their family, that she began her writing career. Her enthusiasm and love of children and childhood was channelled into music teaching and story telling. Her work such as The Invisible Elephant, Balloon Fun and The Teaspoon Family were witty and imaginative and her passionate belief that they should learn of the realities of the past helped her create her most famous book:  Lotte Moore A Child’s War.

Its success led to her giving talks to thousands of young schoolchildren throughout London and in 2018 she commissioned Take Note Theatre to dramatise her book. The play’s first outing was followed by seasonal productions both at the Theatre at the Tabard and at The Corinthian Sailing Club and it was a delight to watch the reaction of the audiences to the play and their fascination in meeting Lotte afterwards.

Her kindness and concern spanned any age gap for the lady was truly young at heart. She will be missed by so very many.

Lotte Moore’s funeral is at 11.00 am on Wednesday 16 August at St Nicholas Church, Church Street, Chiswick W4 2PH. If you would like to make a donation to the Just Giving page her faimly has set up in aid of the children’s charity Tommy’s, the link is here: justgiving.com

Nicholas Bromley adapted Lotte Moore: A Child’s War for stage and directed it at the Tabard Theatre.