HMS Aphis was a Royal Navy Insect-class gunboat. She was built by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company, launched on 15 September 1915 and completed in November 1915. She was based in Port Said at the beginning of World War I, served in Romania and then the China Station until 1940. All of her fighting service was in the Mediterranean, taking part in the invasion of Pantelleria and landings in the south of France, returning briefly to the Pacific in 1945. She was scrapped at Singapore in 1947. Her class was intended for shallow, fast flowing rivers and they also proved suitable for inshore operations when her relatively heavy weaponry could be used to support Army operations.
Successful multi-purpose ships, projected in the early days of the First World War and based on the Azov Sea steam schooner Elpidifor. In wartime it was planned to use such ships as landing vessels, minesweepers or minelayers, and as merchant ships in peacetime. The universal character of these vessels predetermined a number of special requirements: large capacity, shallow draught at the fore and suitability for Black Sea conditions.
In 1916 a series of 20 vessels (Nos 410-429) was laid down in Nikolaev, but none had been completed when the Russian revolution began. Elpidifors Nos. 410-412 were completed by White Russians in 1919 and subsequently were sent abroad.
After Nikolaev fell to Red Army troops, Elpidifors Nos. 413-417 were completed as gunboats. The rest were completed as tankers and dry cargo vessels.
Capable of carrying up to 6 light tanks or 9 lorries, or 2000 marines, Elpidifor 413 survived the Great War, serving as a minesweeper and gunboat in the 1920s and ended her days as a survey vessel in 1947.