Sir John French, Commander-in-Chief of the BEF, France, World War I, 1914-1915. Field Marshal French (1852-1925) with aides-de-camp at headquarters. He was the first Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in World War I. He was replaced by his deputy, General Douglas Haig, in 1915 and served as Commander of British Home Forces for the rest of the war. Stereoscopic card detail.