HMS Ephretah

Also known as HMS Ephreta, the Admiralty Steam Drifter Ephretah was built at Oulton Broad, Lowestoft in 1918 named ‘Quicksand’. She was one of the many pre-war trawlers requisitioned by The Admiralty for minesweeper or anti-submarine work.

The trawler, though not an ideal anti-submarine craft, was a cheap and accessible resource for that duty. The guns they could mount were smaller than those carried by U-boats but U-boats would be far more vulnerable to damage by gun-fire. Any breach to its hull, if not fatal, would make it impossible to dive and deprive the submarine of its only defence against more powerful ships.

Once requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service in 1940 (Order P.No. FY 310), Ephretah began the war in the 72nd Anti-Submarine Group based at Scapa Flow, in the Orkneys. Signalman Brooks joined Ephretah on November 29th 1943 when she mainly operated as a Harbour Defence Patrol craft on the east coast.

Having survived the war and converted to an Auxiliary RAF mooring vessel in London in 1953, Ephretah was finally broken up in County Cork 2 years later.

On June 21 1944, Signalman Brooks’ last draft was to HMT Celia where he would end his Hostilities Only service with the Royal Navy.



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