Goldsmith, Blake

Image 1

Photo: Unknown
Image provided by Elizabeth Gunn née Goldsmith

List: records (38) | collections (38) | images (0) | determinations (0) | confirmations (0) made by Blake Goldsmith

The above links show records made of species which occur in Zambia. The actual records may have been made anywhere.

Map: records by QDS

General Information

Date of birth: 1924

Date of death: 2014


Blake was born in Umtali, a country town in Rhodesia, which is now called Zimbabwe.
As a young man he served in the second World War and was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery under fire.
After the war he trained to be a Forester with what was then the Rhodesian Forestry Commission. His subsequent postings to isolated Forestry stations provided him with the outdoor lifestyle he so loved. He spent most of his free time collecting botanical specimens for identification. His specimens were predominately collected in areas within Zimbabwe most notably around Kariba, Matabeleland and the Eastern highlands. I am not aware of any collections being conducted outside of Zimbabwe. Some of his specimens are still held in Kew Gardens, England.
Blake married Gladys Owen in 1952. They were married for 54 years prior to her death in 2006. Without her loyal support he would not have been able to pursue his interests in the way in which he did.
The Kariba Dam was built (1959-1961) for the production of hydroelectric power. My Father conducted a vegetation survey in 1958 prior to the building of the dam. He was subsequently seconded to the company who built the dam to revegetate the scarred and damaged landscape resulting from the excavations for the dam. He was formally recognised for his work. Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Second appointed him to be a ‘Member of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ in her Birthday Honours list in 1961. His MBE was awarded on the 10th of June 1961.
His official title became B. Goldsmith M.M. , M.B.E. . He never used this, he was not pretentious in any way.
My parents emigrated to Australia in 1981 in order to live closer to their only child and her husband. Blake always missed Africa and his days of exploration and botanising in the African bush.
Blake is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Brian Gunn, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Person details: Goldsmith, B., retrieved 22 April 2024

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