The Auxiliary Patrol

From a very modest beginning in 1914 the Auxiliary Patrol grew to about 5,000 yachts, gunboats, trawlers, whalers, ML's, drifters, etc., by war's end. During the entire war not more than a single vessel of the Auxiliary Patrol was captured by the Germans, though something like 400 vessels were lost - primarily trawlers employed in mine-sweeping activities.

The ML was deployed in flotillas of six craft throughout the various theaters of war - the English Channel and North Sea (primarily flotilla groups based in Dover, Harwich and Scapa Flow with numerous smaller ports having at least one ML flotilla), Ireland (Queenstown and Berehaven), and in French ports such as Dunkirk from which they patrolled along the northern coasts of France and Belgium. In the Mediterranean ML flotillas ranged from Gibraltar to the Adriatic and White Sea. Service ports included Taranto and Gallipoli (not the Gallipoli of the Dardanelles but the one in Italy), Otranto below Brindisi and Mudros, Lemnos and Imbros in the Greek islands. Further east ML flotillas could be found in Alexandria and Port Said, patrolling the Suez Canal, and toward the end of the war, in Beirut and Tripoli. There was even a flotilla on the West Indies station!

Inception and Early Days

Recruiting Volunteers

Auxiliary Patrol Zones

M.L.'s in The Camber, Dover
Indiscretions of the Naval Censor