George Ernest Brown (1917-1980) was a visionary who curated the arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1956 to 1977. He recognised the importance of communication, diplomacy, and public engagement as drivers of positive change in society and explored his insight through Kew's Mutual Improvement Society (est. 1871) and its networking offshoot, the Kew Guild.

The George Brown Memorial Award was founded in 1983 by the Kew Guild to commemorate George Brown’s life and work and to promote the value of his insights. Uniquely, it recognises contribution of individuals to the advancement of horticultural and botanical science through effective communication and diplomacy, making it a significant and distinctive honour.  

Recipients are accredited with an illuminated certificate signed by the patron of the Guild and have their names inscribed on a brass plate mounted on a native oak lectern [ref to photo]. 

The scope of George Brown’s career is described in a biography, originally published in the 1974 edition of the Kew Guild Journal, [page 295] to mark his Vice Presidency of the Guild 1974-76. Also see our Biography page: George Ernest Brown

The Kew Guild are proud that the George Brown Award is continuing to this day. 

Recipients of the George Brown Memorial Award

1982    George Joy
1983    Noel Lothian
1984    Noel Procter
1985    John Lawrence
1986    Ronald Keay
1987    Thomas Everett
1988    Alan Titchmarsh
1989    Leo Pemberton
1990    Robert Sealy
1991    Stanley Rawlings
1992    Tony Schilling
1993    Martin Sands
1994    Ghillean Prance
1995    Laura Ponsonby
1996    Ray Desmond
1997    Nigel Hepper
1998    John Simmons
1999    Patrick Nutt
2000    Richard Ward
2001    John Woodhams
2002    Allen Paterson
2003    Neil and Sheila Gilmore
2004    Gren Lucas
2005    Michael Clift
2006    Jill Cowley
2007    Allan and Joan Hart
2008    Granville Turley
2009    Kenwyn Pearson
2010    John Sales
2011    Jim Mitchell
2012    Pamela Holt
2013    Norman Robson
2014    David Barnes
2015    Susyn Andrews
2016    Jennifer Alsop
2017        Sandy Atkins
2018       Nicholas Boyes
2019    Marcella Concoran
2020      Chris Kidd
2021       Anthony Ross
2022      Bill Bessler
2023    Cyril Giles & Tony Overland
2024    Maxine Briggs
2025    Colin Hindmarch