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Sunday, May 8, 2016

BRAM VAN STOCKUM | Expedition 1902-03

Boatload of warriors serving under my grandfather
and the Dutch tricolor, in what is now Surinam.
My mother, Hilda van Stockum, added the ID at top.

Bram van Stockum, my maternal grandfather, was a naval captain and was commander of the port of Amsterdam at IJmuijden during World War I, when Holland was neutral.

I visited IJmuiden last month and it is still a busy port for commercial shipping traffic. It is also now a place where you can find excellent seafood restaurants.

Expedition to Surinam

In 1902-03, the Queen of the Netherlands dispatched an expedition to Surinam (what was then called Dutch Guyana) in the former Dutch West Indies. Then-Lt. Bram van Stockum was put in charge of it.

Bram van Stockum on expedition in
what is today Surinam. He found the
source of its Saramacca River in 1903.
The Queen's expedition to Surinam was to find the source of the Saramacca River and my grandfather was successful.

He wrote a book about the expedition that is based on his journal (Dagboek), and is available to read in Dutch online.

I was just given an album of photos by my sister Brigid and a photo of one of the boats that served under my grandfather is in it.

There are also several photos of my grandfather that I have never seen before. One is of him deep in the jungle on his expedition.

Bram van Stockum seems to have died of a disease that he picked on an expedition to a Dutch colony. His youngest  brother Johannes (Jo) also died of an exotic disease, picked up in Africa.

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