Sailors’ hill run marks birthday of navy’s ‘father’

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Sailors ran to the top of Lem Phu Jao recently to mark the 141st birthday of HRH Abhakara Kiartivongse, the prince of Chumphon, considered the father of the Royal Thai Navy.

Vice Adm. Nopadol Supakorn places gold leaf on the statue of HRH Abhakara Kiartivongse, the prince of Chumphon.
Vice Adm. Nopadol Supakorn places gold leaf on the statue of HRH Abhakara Kiartivongse, the prince of Chumphon.

Sattahip Naval Base commander Vice Adm. Nopadol Supakorn led 200 personnel in the Dec. 19 run from Frigate Squadron 2 to the top of the Sattahip hill where the prince’s memorial stands.  They sang “A Sword of the Country”, “Walking Forward”, and “Paduak Flower” during their trek.

Abhakara studied naval warfare in England and returned to the then-Siam in the age of King Rama V to serve in the Royal Siamese Navy where he contributed significantly to the advancement and modernization of the service.

In addition to his career in the navy, the prince studied medicine and was particularly interested in the use of herbal remedies in treating his patients.  As “Doctor Phon,” he provided medical treatment to people of all classes and races.

Sailors wait for the starting signal before the ceremonial run up Lem Phu Jao hill in Sattahip.
Sailors wait for the starting signal before the ceremonial run up Lem Phu Jao hill in Sattahip.