The term "British Expeditionary Force" refers only to the forces present in France prior to the end of 1914, when it was divided into the First and Second Armies. The surviving members of these forces were later awarded the Mons Star.
The force got its nickname the 'Old Contemptibles' from a supposed 'Order of the Day' for 19 August 1914 issued by Kaiser Wilhelm. "It is my Royal and Imperial Command that you concentrate your energies for the immediate present upon one single purpose, and that is that you address all your skill and all the valour of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army." The Kaiser had apparently described the force as "contemptibly little", referring to its size, but it got reported as "contemptible". The name stuck and the BEF proudly referred to themselves as the 'Old Contemptibles'.
After marching through Belgium, Luxembourg and the Ardennes, the German army advanced, in the latter half of August, into northern France where they met both the French army, under Joseph Joffre, and the initial divisions of the British Expeditionary Force, under Sir John French. Key battles included the Battle of Charleroi and the Battle of Mons.
The German army came within 43 miles of Paris, but at the First Battle of the Marne (September 6–12), French and British troops were able to force a German retreat by exploiting a gap which appeared between the 1st and 2nd Armies, ending the German advance into France. The German army retreated north of the Aisne River and dug in there, establishing the beginnings of a static western front that was to last for the next three years. Following this German setback, the opposing forces tried to outflank each other in the Race for the Sea, and quickly extended their trench systems from the English Channel to the Swiss frontier.
“King’s Own Scottish Borderers” - one of Scotland’s most famous Lowland regiments. The “KOSBies” as they were nicknamed formed part of the original B.E.F. sent over to France within days of war being declared. They took part in much of the fighting that attempted to delay and halt the massive German assault through Belgium and northern France in August 1914.
Being “Lowland Scots” they do not wear the traditional kilt (although some officers did wear tartan trews). The men are easily recognized by their distinctive Scottish “Glengarries” (with the colourful dicing band).