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BEF


healdav
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When did the term BEF begin to be used?

I have just been reading a novel where it is said several times that one of the characters was 'in the BEF'. The novel is set in the late 1890s or so.

Is this a misnomer for being in the army, or did the army or others refer to itself as being the BEF at that time?

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The term "British Expeditionary Forces" appears in newspapers in the 1840s, in relation to China, according to a search of the British Newspaper Archives.

Martin

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So it was a sort of general term, not a novelist being silly. Thanks.

 

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2 minutes ago, healdav said:

So it was a sort of general term, not a novelist being silly. Thanks.

 

Yes, it seems to have been regularly applied to overseas expeditionary forces. To be honest, I expected no earlier than Boer War before I looked.

Craig

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