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- group 'The Great War: British expeditionary force'


The Great War: British expeditionary force


In 1914, Britain despatched its first round of forces to fight in Belgium and France; they were known as the British Expeditionary Force or BEF. Although the term is applicable to all the forces that fought throughout the war, it is usually reserved for those men who volunteered for the regular army before the war, taking part in the first battles. The BEF was created by Richard Burdon Haldane, under the guidance of Douglas Haig in 1912, and its mobilisation in 1914 showed how well trained, equipped and organised these British troops were. They would suffer heavy losses in The First Battle of Ypres, but many would go on to hold high ranking positions for the rest of the war, strategically leading the troops into battle. They are remembered for their spirit and camaraderie, through poems, and legends such as The angel of Mons.

Sir Archibald James Murray

Sir Archibald James Murray

1860-1945
General
Sitter associated with 10 portraits
Sir William Pulteney Pulteney

Sir William Pulteney Pulteney

1861-1941
Lieutenant-General
Sitter in 7 portraits
Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson of Trent

Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson of Trent

1864-1925
General and Commander-in-Chief of Army in India
Sitter in 19 portraits
John Morrow Simms

John Morrow Simms

1854-1934
Politician and Principal Chaplain to the British Expeditionary Force
Sitter in 4 portraits
Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien

Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien

1858-1930
General; Governor of Gibraltar
Sitter in 17 portraits
Sir Edward Louis Spears, 1st Bt

Sir Edward Louis Spears, 1st Bt

1886-1974
Major-General, liaison officer and politician; MP for Loughborough and Carlisle
Sitter associated with 12 portraits
Christopher Birdwood Thomson, Baron Thomson

Christopher Birdwood Thomson, Baron Thomson

1875-1930
Captain and Secretary of State for Air
Sitter in 9 portraits
Henry Williamson

Henry Williamson

1895-1977
Writer and journalist
Sitter in 6 portraits