She was launched in 1917 by Collingwood Shipbuilding Company at Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.
Bonthorpe was purchased by the Western Australian Trawling Company and sailed from Fleetwood, England to Sydney, Australia. She was later bought by the Albany Tug Company and converted into a tug based at Fremantle, Western Australia.
On 5 February 1940, Bonthorpe was requisitioned by the RAN for use as an auxiliary at Fremantle under the command of Commissioned Warrant Officer Stephen Armstrong, RANR (S). She displaced 85 tones standard and 248 at full load. She was 38.23 metres long, had a beam of 7.14 metres, a draft of 4.09 metres, and was capable of 10 knots. Shad a crew of 20 (2 officers and 18 sailors), and was armed with one 76mm gun, two 20mm Oerlikon guns and a 7.7mm Vickers machine gun.
During the war, Bonthorpe was based in Fremantle and operated along the Western Australia coastline. She was decommissioned on 17 February 1945, and was laid up at Careening Bay, Garden Island, as part of the Reserve Fleet before being sold in 1947-48.
She was decommissioned on 17 February 1945 and was reconverted to a trawler before becoming stranded at Cairns Inlet, Queensland in 1959.
On 3 October 1950, Bonthorpe was damaged after being hit by another ship, the Cooramba;, and when the latter broke from her mooring during a 75-mile-per-hour (121km/h) gale.
he was later sold to M. Bern & Co in 1954.
In 1959, she became stranded at Cairns Inlet, Queensland, and was apparently abandonded.