You can say many things about Victorian England, but when it comes to their naval history they have kept excellent records. Thus I was able to track down a picture of the ship that took my great grandfather to Surinam: Indus III.
The ship's original name was the HMS Bellerophon. One should keep in mind though that four ships of the Royal Navy had been named HMS Bellerophon after the hero Bellerophon in Greek Mythology. The most famous HMS Bellerophon was the one that particpated in the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) and taking none other than Napoleon Bonaparte to his second exile Island of Saint Helena following the battle of Waterloo.
That HMS Bellerophon was NOT the one my great grandfather travelled on. His was a Victorian central battery ironclad battleship of the Royal Navy built in 1865 (a hundred years prior to my birth in the Netherlands). At the time, she was a major step forward in design technology as compared to previous classes in terms of engine power, armament, armour, hull design and seaworthiness.
She was commissioned at Chatham, and served in the Channel Fleet until 1871. She was flagship on the North America station until 1881. She was re-commissioned as port guardship at Pembroke until 1903. Bellerophon was converted into a stokers' training ship in 1904, and re-named HMS Indus III which eventually brought my great grandfather Ramran Ali to Surinam in 1908. When sold in 1922 she had completed 56 years service.
Photo © Copyright Bellerophon Alumni 2010.