Navy commemorates Abhakara Day

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The Royal Thai Navy commemorated the 92nd anniversary of the death of “the Father of the Thai Navy” at the Prince Chumphon monument on Pratamnak Hill in Pattaya.

The ceremony for Adm. Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, better known as Prince Krom Luang Chumphon Khet Udomsak, was presided over by Vice Adm. Poolsak Uboltepchai, director-general of the Naval Communications and Information Technology Department of the Royal Thai Navy, and attended by hundreds of navy personnel, police and citizens.

Vice Admiral Poolsak Uboltepchai, Director General of the Naval Communications and Information Technology Department of the Royal Thai Navy (right), leads ceremonies atop Pratamnak Hill on Abhakara Day.Vice Admiral Poolsak Uboltepchai, Director General of the Naval Communications and Information Technology Department of the Royal Thai Navy (right), leads ceremonies atop Pratamnak Hill on Abhakara Day.

Ten Buddhist monks from Chaimongkol Temple performed religious ceremonies and chanted prayers while the devout made merit by giving alms. The rituals ended with the lighting of 10,000 firecrackers.

Naval officials and worshippers on May 19 each year pay tribute to the prince, whose dedication to the development of the marine force earned him the title of “father of the Thai Navy”.

Prince Chumphon died May 19, 1923 at age 42. He studied naval warfare in England and returned to Siam in the age of King Rama V serve in the Royal Siamese Navy and contribute 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 medicine in treating his patients. As “Doctor Phon,” he provided medical treatment to people of all classes and races.

The Royal Thai Fleet traces its roots to 1923 when a unit specializing in warships was founded under the name Royal Thai Navy, reporting directly to the Ministry of Naval Officers, with three warships fleets consisting of gun and torpedo squadrons and warships.

It wasn’t until 1933 when the name Royal Thai Navy was changed to Royal Thai Warship, reporting directly to the Ministry of Naval Officers, until 1951, when the name was again changed to Royal Thai Fleet.

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