Abhakara Kiartivongse

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Abhakara Kiativong
Prince of Chumphon
Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse.jpg
Minister of Royal Siamese Navy
In office1 April 1923 – 19 May 1923
Acting1 October 1922 – 31 March 1923
PredecessorBhanurangsi Savangwongse
as the director-general
SuccessorAsdang Dejavudh
as the director-general
Born(1880-12-19)19 December 1880
Bangkok, Siam
Died19 May 1923(1923-05-19) (aged 42)
Chumphon, Siam
SpousePrincess Dibyasambandh
and 5 other concubines
Issue11 (including Prince Aditya Dibabha)
HouseAbhakara (Chakri Dynasty)
FatherChulalongkorn (Rama V)
MotherMod Bunnag

Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, Prince of Chumphon (19 December 1880 – 19 May 1923) (Thai: พระองค์เจ้าอาภากรเกียรติวงศ์, RTGSPhra Ong Chao Aphakon Kiantiwong, full title: Thai: พระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้าอาภากรเกียรติวงศ์ กรมหลวงชุมพรเขตอุดมศักดิ์), was the 28th child of King Chulalongkorn. He was commonly revered as "The Father of the Thai Navy". Being born to a non-royal mother, he could not become king.

As the founder of the Siamese Navy, Prince Ap-hakon was highly praised by many Thais as "Sadej Tia" (Thai: เสด็จเตี่ย; lit. Lord Father), "Mor Phon" (Thai: หมอพร; lit. Doctor Phon). The Thai Royal Navy officially announced his title as "the Father of the Thai Navy" in 1993.[1]

There are 217 shrines and memorials built to honour him around Thailand.[2] The most famous of which is the Prince of Chumphon Shrine at Hat Sai Ree in Chumphon Province, where he recuperated and rehabilitated from his illnesses, before his death on 19 May 1923.


Personal emblem of Abhakara Kiartivongse

Traveling with his son, Rama V had noticed that this boy was good in navigation. So the king decided to send the prince to England to study naval science. Upon his return to Siam in 1900 the prince began to work with a lot of enthusiasm – he was appointed commander of a ship and his mind was busy with ideas how to develop Royal Siamese navy in order to achieve the highest level, at least on the level of western navies. He was sent to study naval warfare in England.

He returned to Siam to serve in the creation of Royal Siamese Navy and contributed significantly to the advancement and modernization of the navy. In 1922 he saw that Sattahip Bay was a strategic place for the establishment of a naval base and offered royal land in Sattahip in order to build the present-day naval facilities.[3] In honor of his contributions, the prince was proclaimed "The father of the Royal Thai Navy". The Royal Prince Admiral went to England to personally negotiate the purchase of the Phra Ruang destroyer, one of the early ships of the Royal Thai Navy and to command the ship during its subsequent voyage home.[4]

Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse[5] also had muay Thai skills. During King Vajiravudh's reign, he trained many muay Thai boxers, mostly of these turned into named boxer trainers of each provinces.[6] In addition to his career in navy, Prince Abhakara studied medicine. He was particularly interested in the use of herbal medicine in treating his patients.


Prince of Chumphon Shrine at Hat Ree beach in Chumphon province, built to commemorate him

Not long after being honoured to the title "commander in chief, Admiral and Father" of the Siamese Navy, Abhakara left the office for his health and travelled to Monthon Surat for a month. He rehabilitated from his congenital and chronic diseases at Hat Ree beach in Chumphon province. After his accidental exposure to a cold rain, he was infected with influenza, which worsened his health condition sharply. The Prince Admiral Abhakara died at the age of 42, on 19 May 1923, 11 40 am.[7]

Royal Thai Navy marks 19 May annually as the "Abhakara Memorial Day".


Ancestor of Abhakara Kiartivongse
Abhakara Kiartivongse Father:
Chulalongkorn, King Rama V of Siam
Paternal Grandfather:
Mongkut, King Rama IV of Siam
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, King Rama II of Siam
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Queen Sri Suriyendra
Paternal Grandmother:
Queen Debsirindra
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Prince Sirivongse, the Prince Matayabidaksa
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Mom Noi Sirivongs na Ayudhya
Chao Chom Manda Mohd Bunnag
Maternal Grandfather:
Chao Phraya Suravongs Vaiyavadhana
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Somdet Chao Phraya Borom Maha Sri Suriyawongse
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Klin Bunnag
Maternal Grandmother:
Im Bunnag
Maternal Great-grandfother:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Royal decorations[edit]



  • Cavaliere di gran Croce Regno SSML BAR.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Kingdom of Italy)
  • JPN Kyokujitsu-sho 1Class BAR.svg 1st Class, Grand Cordon of Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)[9]


  1. ^ Thai Royal Navy Announcement of 11 February 1993 (ประกาศกองทัพเรือ 11 กุมภาพันธ์ 2536); in Thai
  2. ^ เจนจบ ยิ่งสุมล. (October 2010). ๑๓๐ ปี ไม่มีวันตาย พลเรือเอกพระบรมวงศ์เธอ กรมหลวงชุมพรเขตอุดมศักดิ์.DK Publishing. ISBN 978-616-7327-07-5. p. 123 (in Thai)
  3. ^ Special report: Abhakara Day
  4. ^ "Thai Naval Force Development". Global Security. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Aphakorn Kiantiwong – the Father of Thai navy | Travel guide". Thailand.FalkTime. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  6. ^ (in Thai) สมบัติ สวางควัฒน์. (2554). ย้อนตำนานแวดวงมวยไทย จากอดีตถึงปัจจุบัน. สำนักพิมพ์ ก้าวแรก. ISBN 978-616-7446-13-4. หน้า 165–166
  7. ^ Royal Thai Government Gazette, ข่าวสิ้นพระชนม์, Issue 40, 27 May 1923, p. 561
  8. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, พระราชทานเหรียญดุษฎีมาลา, เล่ม ๑๗,ตอน ๑๘, ๒๙ กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. ๒๔๔๓, หน้า ๒๑๔
  9. ^ พระราชทานเหรียญดุษฎีมาลา, เล่ม ๑๗,ตอน ๑๘, ๒๙ กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. ๒๔๔๓, หน้า ๒๑๔

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