Abhakara Kiartivongse

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Aphakon Kiantivong
Prince of Siam
Prince of Chumphon
Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse.jpg
HRH Prince of Chumphon
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 family (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 reveared as "The Father of Thai Navy".

Initiating the naval force in Thailand, Prince Aphakon was highly praised amongst Thai 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 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 Ree in Chumphon Province, where he rehabilitated from his diseases before he died on 19 May 1923.


He spent his early years studying naval warfare in England. He returned to Siam to serve in the 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 Aphakon Kiantivong[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]


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

Not long after being honoured to the title "commander in chief" of Siamese Navy, Aphakon left the office for his health and travelled to Monthon Surat for a month. He rehabilitated from his congenital and chronic disease at Hat Ree beach in Chumphon province. After his accidental expose to the rain, he was infected with influenza, worsening his health condition sharply. The Pronce 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".

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 1880–1910: His Royal Highness Prince Aphakon Kiantivong
  • 1910–1920: His Royal Highness Prince Aphakon Kiantivong, the Prince Brother
  • 1920–1923: His Royal Highness Prince Aphakon Kiantivong, Prince of Chumphon

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. Pg 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, Pg 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

External links[edit]