Brendan Hogan


The historiography of the First World War lacks an assessment of the role that trained staff officers had during the expansion of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) between 1914 and 1918. This article aims to determine what role staff college graduates played in the early expansion of the BEF. The central conclusion of this article is that staff-trained officers were critical in the expansion of the BEF during the war. They occupied all the key command and staff appointments in the British regular army, the Territorial Force, New Army, and Dominion divisions, both when those formations were formed and when they first went into action. The armies of the empire could neither have expanded nor functioned without them.