British Expeditionary Force

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'British Expeditionary Force' can also refer to...

British Expeditionary Force

British Expeditionary Force

British Expeditionary Force

British Expeditionary Force

British Expeditionary Force

British expeditionary force (act. 1914)

The Pre-War Army and the British Expeditionary Force, 1940

BIRD, Frederic Dougan (1858 - 1929), late Consulting Surgeon to the Army in Egypt, also to Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and British Expeditionary Force, Salonica

GORDON, Philip Cecil Harcourt (1864 - 1920), Assistant Director Medical Services, Calais, British Expeditionary Force

Through French Eyes: the British Expeditionary Force and the Records of the French Postal Censor, 1916–18

WINGATE, Malcolm Roy (1893 - 1918), 26th Field Company, Royal Engineers; Staff Captain, General Headquarters, British Expeditionary Force

HOLMES, Gordon (Morgan) (1876 - 1965), Consulting Physician to National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, to Charing Cross Hospital, and to the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital; late Consulting Neurologist, British Expeditionary Force

BILES, John Harvard (1854 - 1933), Hon. Vice-President Institution of Naval Architects; MInstCE, MSoc. Nav. Arch., USA; Hon. Memb. Japanese Society of Naval Architects; Order of Osmanieh, 3rd class, 1906; Naval Constructor, Admiralty, 1877–81; Naval Architect and Manager to Clydebank Shipyard, 1881–90; Professor of Naval Architecture, Glasgow University, 1891–1921; has served on Admiralty Departmental Committees on Mercantile Auxiliaries, 1901, Torpedo Boat Destroyer Committee, 1902–03, Warship Designs, 1905; Board of Trade Departmental Committee on Tonnage, 1905–06; Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights; President Engineering Section British Association, 1911; Chairman Boats and Davits Committee, 1912–13; Assessor on Titanic Enquiry, 1912; British Delegate on International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, 1913; Chairman Admiralty Committee on Submarine Cargo Vessels, 1917; Member Indian Mercantile Marine Committee, 1923–24; Member of Committee on Royal Dockyards and their organization, 1925; Chairman Engineering Joint Council, 1925–26; is Consulting Naval Architect to the High Commissioner for India, and received thanks of Secretary of State in Council for the satisfactory results of the designing and supervising the construction of the river craft for the Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia, 1916–18; has professionally visited India, Australia, United States of America, Canada, Japan, and China, and nearly all European countries


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The name given to British troops deployed for immediate conflict in the first half of the twentieth century. As a result of Haldane's army reforms in 1906–7, a territorial reserve army was created in Britain, and it was advised that this, along with the regular army, should be made ready for dispatch overseas in an emergency. When World War I was declared on 4 August 1914, both regular and reserve troops were sent to France under Sir John French, as the BEF. As German troops advanced into France, the BEF moved up the German flank towards Belgium, before it was defeated at the Battle of Mons (23–4 August). After a steady retreat, it took part in the first Battle of Ypres (20 October–17 November). Estimates suggest that by the end of November, survivors from the original force averaged no more than one officer and thirty men, in each battalion of about 600 men.

 In World War II, an expeditionary force was again mobilized and sent to France in September 1939, as Britain's contribution to its alliance with France. It comprised 152,000 men and, from 4 September, was situated along the Belgian border. By May 1940, it numbered 394,165 men, and was also stationed along the Franco‐German border. On 10 May, when Germany attacked, the BEF moved towards Belgium, but was soon forced to withdraw from Dunkirk. A number of other evacuations took place in May and June, leaving behind 64,000 vehicles and other important equipment. Altogether, it lost 68,111 killed, wounded, or captured.

Subjects: Second World War — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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