On 8th August 1914, four days after war was declared, the Defence of the Realm Act was passed. This gave the British government wide-sweeping powers to support the war effort. It included the ability to requisition ships and smaller vessels for use by the Royal Navy. These vessels were pressed into service and took on very different roles to those they had played as merchant, civilian and fishing craft. Fishing boats became Q-ships -- decoy ships deliberately luring U-boats to attack them then unveiling their armaments. Others became minesweepers; and gentlemen’s pleasure launches became patrol boats. However, not all vessels answered the call to duty -- some vessels were deliberately sunk to avoid requisitioning or use by the Germans in the event of an invasion.