The British Expeditionary Force arrived in France on 7 August 1914 – this is known as the Western Front. These forces were utilised under this name until the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914. Thereafter it was mostly wiped out, although it had managed to contain the German advance. It was then divided into the First and Second Armies, although BEF remained the official name of the British Army in France and Flanders throughout the First World War.
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany apparently issued an order on 19 August 1914 to “exterminate … the treacherous English and walk over General French’s contemptible little army.” Survivors of the regular army dubbed themselves “The Old Contemptibles”. No evidence of any such order being issued by the Kaiser has ever been found. It was probably a British propaganda invention, albeit one often repeated as fact.