British Expeditionary Force

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The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) is primarily the first seven Divisions sent to France at the outset of the First World War and forming the "Contemptible Little Army." The "Expeditionary Force" was the term officially adopted some time before the war for the British contingent normally available for services overseas in the event of a European War, its normal strength being fixed at three divisions. It replaced the original term for the contingent, "The Striking Force," and in the war was applied to overseas contingents everywhere, for example: Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, depeding on location.[1]

See also Old Contemptibles.

Chronological events

The following events form part of "The Great War: On this day" project. It has been primarily sourced from volumes 1, 2 and 3 of Chronology of the War (1918-1920), edited by Lord Edward Gleichen. The source material identifies concise, historical events in simple, chronological order.


Glossary of words and phrases

The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of Great Britain during the Great War. Included are trench slang, service terms, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used. They have been transcribed from three primary sources (see Contents). Feel free to expand upon and improve this content.
Browse other terms: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

References / notes

  1. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.12.
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