British Expeditionary Force
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.
See also Old Contemptibles.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.12.
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