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Aphakon Kiatiwong (อาภากร เกียรติวงศ์)

Thai. Born on 19 December 1880, as the 28th child of King Rama V, who in total had 77 children. He is generally known as the Prince of Chumphon, but as the innovator of Thailand's Royal Navy, he has many other titles and aliases, e.g. Father of the Royal Thai Navy, Prince Admiral; Sadet Tia (เสด็จเตี่ย) or ‘Royal father’; Mo Phon (หมอพร) or ‘Dr. Phon’, i.e. a name coined on the last syllable of Chumphon and the fact that the prince was also a general practitioner, with a particular interest in herbal medicine (fig.); etc. In full, with his roal title, he is known as Krommaluang Chumphon Khet Udomsak (ชุมพรเขตอุดมศักดิ์), with Krommaluang being the third highest title for a prince of royal descent. At the age of 13, he went to England to study Naval Science and on his return to Siam, he served in the Royal Siamese Navy, which he modernized. He died untimely on 19 May 1923, while he was the Minister of Marine Affairs. He is widely honoured (fig.) with shrines and statues (fig.), especially in ports and seaside towns, such as Rayong, Trat, Pattaya, and so on, and in Chumpon Province there is the Prince of Chumphon Shrine and Battle Ship Museum (map - fig.), featuring the battleship H.M.S. Chumphon (fig.). His name is often transliterated Abhakara Kiartivongse, but this does not correspond well with its pronunciation nor its meaning. Aphakon means ‘sun’; kiat means ‘dignity’ or ‘fame’; and wong translates as ‘clan’, ‘lineage’ or ‘family’, whereas the i in the second name, i.e. kiat-i-wong, is only pronounced in compound usage and belongs to the first part of the name, i.e. kiat(i).