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History Gallery

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Choose from 364 images in our History collection.


John Wilfred Sutch Featured History Image

John Wilfred Sutch

John Wilfred Sutch, born 8 November 1923, worked as a gardener in the T-Range, Palm House and Arboretum. At the age of 18 he left Kew to join the army, joining the 1st Northants Yeomanry as a tank driver. He served in Normandy in the summer of 1944 and was killed during the battle for Falaise Gap. The Journal of the Kew Guild described him as 'knowledgable, conscientious' and as displaying 'considerable promise'

© RBG KEW

Matilda Smith, botanical artist Featured History Image

Matilda Smith, botanical artist

Matilda Smith, Joseph Hooker's second cousin, began training as a botanical artist in 1877, at the age of 23, and remained in Kew's employ for 45 years, producing more than 2300 drawings for Curtis' Botanical Magazine. She became the Civil Service's first payrolled botanical artist. In 1916 she became president of the Kew Guild and in 1921 was accepted as an associate of the Linnean Society, only the second woman to receive this honour. Hooker's second cousin, began training as a botanical artist in 1877, at the age of 23, and remained in Kew's employ for 45 years, producing more than 2300 drawings for Curtis' Botanical Magazine. She became the Civil Service's first payrolled botanical artist. In 1916 she became president of the Kew Guild and in 1921 was accepted as an associate of the Linnean Society, only the second woman to receive this honour

© RBG KEW

The arrival of the flagstaff off the Sion Vista, Kew, circa 1916 Featured History Image

The arrival of the flagstaff off the Sion Vista, Kew, circa 1916

The arrival of the flagstaff off the Sion Vista, Kew: "accepting delivery", circa 1916. Gifted by the Provincial Governement of British Columbia, it was towed along the Thames by tug boat. Produced from the trunk of a Douglas Fir, it stood at approximately 91m. Its erection was delayed by World War I and it was not until October 1919 that the flagstaff was finally hoisted into place. A flagpole, (twice replaced) stood at Kew from 1861 to 2007, when the loss of a great tree was considered too high a price to pay, and it was not replaced

© RBG KEW