Research for The Commission for Relief in Belgium

Institutional Collections

I studied the papers of more than fifty CRB delegates that I found in numerous research libraries and institutions. Three critical archives and the primary papers I read within them are:

1. Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Archives (HHPLA), West Branch, Iowa: Ben S. Allen, Hugh Gibson, Prentiss Gray, Joseph Green, Herbert C. Hoover, Edward Eyre Hunt, Maurice Pate, George Spaulding (found in the Alan Hoover papers), and Brand Whitlock. Also extremely useful were the comprehensive clip books, which contained hundreds of CRB-related newspaper clippings from the United Kingdom, and the oral history interviews.

2. Hoover Institution Archives (HIA), Stanford University, Stanford, California: Ben S. Allen, Robert Arrowsmith, Perrin C. Galpin, Hugh Gibson, Emil Holman (original spelling Hollmann), Edward Eyre Hunt, Robert A. Jackson, Tracy B. Kittredge, David T. Nelson, Maurice Pate, Robinson Smith, Gilchrist B. Stockton, and Robert Withington. Also extremely useful were the oral history interviews and the more than five hundred boxes of files under the Commission for Relief in Belgium.

3. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland: Extremely helpful were the General Records of the State Department (RG 59) and the Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the State Department (RG 84), particularly the files of the American Embassy in London and the US Legation in Brussels.

Author’s Archives

My archives are open to any legitimate researcher. They include hundreds of letters and a diary written by my grandfather, Milton M. Brown, while he was a CRB delegate (January 1916 to April 1917), as well as an extensive final report he wrote on the clothing department. From my grandmother, Erica Bunge Brown, I have a small diary (edited by my mother) and numerous photos she took during the war. In addition, I have from my great grandfather, Edouard Bunge, his extensive personal account, “What I Saw of the Bombardment and Surrender of Antwerp” which details his participation in the surrender of the city to the Germans.

I have also been trying to digitize as much of my archives as possible and sharing them with institutions in America and Belgium. I’m also posting some of them on

As for sources, after decades of research, a comprehensive list of sources would be excessively long. To see the list that I have chosen as most appropriate, click the button below.

List of Sources

For more information about my archives or to obtain access, contact Jeff Miller at or 303-503-1739.


Master List of Those Who Participated

Currently, there is no definitive list that ties names with photos of those who helped or who were involved with the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) during World War I.  Approximately 150 to 180 American men (and a few women) participated in some capacity in the CRB from October 1914 until April 1917 (when America entered the war).

To create a master list for future researchers, I began an online page as a way of crowd-sourcing photos and names. Help has come from descendants of CRBers as well as from professors of history, including  Professsor Branden Little, Professor Tammy Proctor, and Professor Margaret Hunt. Thanks to all who have helped. Currently, my original list has broken down into multiple lists that include:

* Diplomats Who Aided The CRB (22 total; 7 no photo)
* Support Staff, Unknowns, Unsure
(9 total)
Belgians Who Served With the CRB, But Not Officially Listed As CRB (3 total)
* Americans Who Served, But Not In Belgium 
(31 total; 10 no photo)
* Americans Not Officially Listed, But Did Serve
 (11 total; 7 no photo)
* Acknowledged CRB Delegates Who Served In Belgium
 (129 total; 2 no photo)

With each entry, I’ve added dates of service, where they served, and any extra info I feel might be important.  My own Excel spread sheets on all these people run well over 100 pages. I’ve pulled my information for this master list from many sources, but the five primary lists I used were from Vernon Kellogg’s book, Fighting Starvation in Belgium,  Brand Whitlock’s book, , Robert Arrowsmith’s list made in Belgium, and the 1920 & 1929 official lists compiled by the CRB. Any differences I have with official lists come from numerous personal accounts of those in the field.

List of Those Who Participated