Ephraim was born in Quinton, Gloucestershire, the son of William and Elizabeth. He was married to Sarah and they lived at 30 Brady Street, Portwood, Stockport, with their two children.
He had been a regular soldier, serving with the 2nd Cheshires in India and was recalled to the colours, as a reservist, when War was declared in August 1914. During the early part of the war, he received a minor wound but was soon back at duty.
At some point during the summer of 1915, he was gassed and, after spending time in military hospital in France, he returned to England. He had arrived at a military hospital at Ragthorpe, Nottingham about 12 days before he died.
He was buried at Stockport with full military honours. The coffin was draped with the Union Flag and was escorted by men of the Cheshire Regiment. The procession was at a slow march with rifles reversed, in accordance with army custom. At the conclusion of the service, by the Reverend Hinds of Buxton Road Congregational Church, three volleys were fired over the grave and buglers sounded the "Last Post".