|Antwerp's Cathedral Clock, courtesy of |
Being neutral, they weren't supposed to take sides. But as E.E. Hunt related in his book, War Bread, the Americans kept Belgian time. This, however, could cause problems:
In German-occupied Belgium, where native resistance of any kind could be met with harsh penalties, any subtle action had the potential of taking on great patriotic symbolism.
That was especially true if...the time was right! :)
Another big thanks goes out to Branden Little (Assistant Professor of History at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah). Before I left for Stanford, Branden emailed me a list of tips and suggestions which made my trip so much easier, productive and fun. Thanks, Branden, for all your help -- and your friendship!
I also had a nice family moment when I visited the Hoover Tower. Right inside the entrance, carved on one marbled wall, are the names of all those who honorably served (not all those who participated) in the CRB. It was wonderful to look up and spot my grandfather's name, Milton M. Brown, my uncle's name, William Hallam Tuck, and all those I've become quite attached to -- Fred Eckstein, Hugh Gibson, Maurice Pate, E.E. Hunt and Joe Green. A fascinating set of diverse and talented men.
As for my research, during three full days at the archives I took more than 2,500 digital images and made a couple hundred photocopies of material I believe will be useful for my book.
When I got home, it took a full week of work to view every image and decide if I needed to print it or not. Then I had to take all the printouts and sort them into my growing filing system.
An interesting idea came to me in the archives. While studying a large portrait book of CRB delegates (in the Tuck collection), it dawned on me that there was no master list of names and photos of all the delegates. They certainly deserve at least that, and it's frankly surprising there isn't such a name/photo list. So, I started taking photos of any identified groups of delegates and any named portraits, even if I wasn't interested in those particular delegates.
I then shared my idea with the staffers of HI at Stanford and HHPL in Iowa. They felt it was a worthwhile project that they would definitely like to have if completed.
When I got home, I spent more than a week pulling head shots from group pictures, cropping portraits, sizing all images to thumbnails and setting up a basic structure. Even getting the list of names together was a challenge. Every list I've seen is slightly different. So, I created a new list using Vernon Kellogg's list at the end of his CRB book, a 1929 CRB directory and the Hoover Tower wall of names.
While I knew I could make a good start of matching names and photos, I knew I could never do it all. That's when I thought of making this a crowd sourcing project. I took what I had done and placed it on a page within my wesite. You can find it at http://www.jbmwriter.com/CRB-Delegates-Names-and-Photos.html
In only a few weeks, I've had numerous people send information and/or photos. Thanks to Erskine, John, Tammy and Branden for their great contributions. The current stats are: 182 total names, 115
names/photos matched, 41 photos unmatched and 67 names without photos.
For those who would like to help, check out the site and pass around the website address to anyone who you think can help. In no time at all, there should be a true master list of names and photos that I'll provide free on CD to any institution or individual who wants it.
While I'm glad I started this project, I do realize it's taken that much time out of my own work. So, of course, it's time to get back to work!
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