Captain Ernest Raphael Friedlander, MC, who served as Ernest Raphael Capper, was an English officer of the British Army who died during the First World War.

He was born the son of German-born clothier Henry and Sarah Alice Friedlander (née Shinberg), of London. After studying at the City of London School,[1] Capper worked as a tailor before enlisting as an other rank in the 2/28th London Regiment in 1915. The previous November, amidst growing anti-German sentiment, he changed his surname by deed poll to 'Capper'.

As Capper, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 19 December 1916, in the Essex Regiment.[2] In January 1917, he left for the Western Front and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions south-east of Monchy-le-Preux while serving with the 9th Essex on 3 August. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. After the enemy had secured a footing in a portion of our trench he organised a bombing attack with his platoon and cleared them out, and when his original bombers had sustained casualties and were too tired to throw bombs accurately he collected a fresh squad of men from another unit and attacked again. His excellent leading, clear orders, and great coolness under fire very largely contributed to the success of the attack.[3]

Capper was captured during the Battle of Cambrai while in command of "A" Company, who were tasked with covering a retirement during a German attack. His company rearguard was observed to be flanked on both sides before being overwhelmed, and Capper was severely wounded. He is believed to have succumbed to his wounds in Germany on 24 December 1917.[4]

He is buried in Koblenz Jewish Cemetery. Capper had married, in 1914, to Dinah White.


  1. Ernest Raphael Capper, Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. The London Gazette (29896, p. 383. 9 January 1917,
  3. Higham, S. Stagoll (1922), Artists Rifles. Regmental Roll of Honour and War Record 1914-1919, p. 64,
  4. Burrows, John William (1929), Essex Units in the War, 1914-1919: Service Battalions, p. 86.


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