The British General Headquarters of 1914-1918

The British GHQ
A General Headquarters known as a GHQ was formed for each theatre of war, often when the build-up of British forces became too large or complex for the local forces there to retain adequate command. If, however, the General Officer Commanding reported to another British General, then the headquarters was known as an HQ. A GHQ/HQ would carry a complement of guard, transport and signals troops.


GHQ History
Home Forces The existing command structure of the British army in the United Kingdom. Based at the War Office in London.
British Expeditionary Force (BEF) Organised during pre-war planning, this was the HQ of the British armies in France and Flanders on the Western Front. Proceeded to France August 1914, under the command of Sir John French, succeeded in December 1915 by Sir Douglas Haig. Up to December 1914, GHQ also acted as Army HQ; from there on, the army grew and proliferated several Armies and GHQ commanded vast numbers of troops. It was possibly the single most powerful 'management' Britain has ever formed. Located at St Omer once the fighting had stabilised, Haig relocated it to Montreuil-sur-Mer.
Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) In March 1916, this HQ was formed to command the growing British forces in Egypt. It was originally commanded by Sir Archibald Murray, later by Sir Edmund Allenby.
Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) Formed in March 1915 to control operations at Gallipoli, under the command of Sir Ian Hamilton. GHQ remained on offshore ships throughout the campaign.
British Salonika Army Formed in January 1917 from the former Army HQ in the Salonika theatre. GHQ based in the town of Salonika.
Mesopotamia Initially under the Government of India as Indian Expeditionary Force 'D'. Taken over by British Government February 1916.
Italy Located initially at Mantua, moved on arrival of General Sir Herbert Plumer to Padua, then briefly to Legnano before returning to Padua. Moved to Noventa on 16 January 1918.
East Africa Formed in December 1914 by merging Indian Expeditionary Forces B and C with British forces in Africa.
North Russia Established under Brigadier-General Edmund Ironside at Archangel in late 1918.