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During his tenure aboard the Inconstant Capper's exemplary character seems to have lapsed and his name appeared 6 times in the Company Defaulters Book.

His offenses included not moving smartly enough at all hands on deck, sleeping at his post when on sentry, neglect of duty while on sentry, having a bottle of grog concealed on him which he intended to give to a prisoner over whom he was about to placed as sentry, dropping his valise brace into the furnace room and leaving his work. For these offenses, he served 43 days of punishment with 14 of those in the cells.

The Inconstant set sail on 17 October 1880 on a voyage of two years and one that Capper would not return from. The Inconstant sailed in convoy with the Cleopatra, Bacchante, Carysfort, and Tourmaline, for Vigo in Spain, then onto Madeira, to St Vincent, and down to Montevideo. The convoy arrived at Montevideo on 22nd December 1880 and sailed to Stanley in the Falkland Islands and then to the Cape of
Good Hope arriving Thursday 17th February 1881. She stayed in the Cape for two months replenishing coal stocks and exchanging official visits with the British Governor.

The Inconstant and the convoy set sail on 10th April 1881 for Australia. Her first stop in Australia was at Melbourne, where on 23rd May 1881 the ship was ‘dressed’ and a Royal salute was fired to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, this was repeated on Monday 20th June to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's ascension to the throne
From Sydney, the Inconstant sailed to Brisbane, then on to Fiji, Yokohama, Kobe, Simorio, Wusury, Chausan Islands, and to Hong Kong and the Cape of Good Hope. After a month at the Cape, she sailed for St Helena then to St Vincent, onto Gibraltar, to Malta, Limosal in Cyprus, and then to Alexandria, Egypt arriving on 20th July 1882.

While in Alexandria Capper was part of the British force under Admiral Seymour that was sent to quell the anti-European riots that followed Arabi Pasha's rebellion against the Egyptian Khedive.

Although not stated in Capper's service records it would seem that the unfortunate private would have been entitled to the Egypt Medal. The medal roll for the HMS Inconstant shows Capper indeed being entitled to the Egypt Medal apparently without any clasp. Of the several other Egypt medals issued to crew members of the Inconstant who were present at Alexandria, none have clasps and this may well have been the case with Capper's medal. The lack of any clasps is due to the Inconstant arriving in Alexandria after the 11 July bombardment. Some of the ship's complement took part in shore operations after arrival in Alexandra and Capper may well have served ashore before becoming ill - possibly with malaria or typhoid. The medal roll does state that Capper's medal was forwarded to his father on 4 May 1883.


Although no mention has been found in the appropriate medal roll, Capper should also have been entitled to the bronze Khedive's Star.

The Ship's log of the HMS Inconstant states that Capper jumped overboard early in the morning of 22 September 1882 while in a state of delirium and was drowned. Divers recovered his body around 9:00 AM and at 9:15 the ship's company was mustered by divisions for prayers in Capper's memory. He was buried at Alexandria later that day.

Carte de Visite
Unknown  Photographer
Unknown Location
c. 1880

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