Mahidol Day refers to the date on which His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol, widely known as the “Father of Modern Thai Medicine”, was born.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is responsible for the promotion and propagation of the cultural contribution of its member countries worldwide. It has annually awarded persons who have made outstanding contributions to culture for more that one hundred years at a global level. The objectives, in brief, include :
1. To recognise the efforts of those who have made cultural contributions at a global level.
2. To encourage its member countries to take part in the activities
held by a country whose citizen has received an award.
To fulfill the above objectives, the Thai Government, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, has been looking for a Thai citizen to nominate for the award. The committee unanimously selected Prince Mahidol as the most suitable nominee and the nomination has been proposed to coincide with the anniversary of the 100th birthday of the Prince on January 1, 1992.
The Prince’s Early Life
Prince Mahidol was the 69th son of King Rama V and the seventh child of Queen Sawang (Sri Savarintra)
The Prince was born on Friday 1, January, 1891 in the Grand Palace and named by his Royal Father as “His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol Adulyadej”.
A traditional topknot-cutting ceremony was held for the Prince on 28 December, 1903, at the age of thirteen.
The Prince was ordained as a Buddhist Novice on 20 August, 1904 at the Emerald Buddha Temple by the Supreme Patriarch (HRH Prince Kromphya Vajirayanavaroros). After ordination, the Prince stayed at Trong Pot Throne Hall in Bovornivetviharn Temple. He left the novicehood on December 13, 1904.
The Prince’s education began at the Royal Children’s School inside the Grand Palace.
1904 – Pre-military School.
1905 – Harrow Boarding School, England.
1907 – Royal Prussian Military College at Potsdam, Germany,
moving later to the Imperial German Naval College in
1911 – Finished second in his class. The Prince’s design for a
submarine won a prize.
1917 – Harvard University, Pre-medical School, the United
1919 – Harvard School for Public Health Officers.
1920 – The Prince returned to Thailabd for funeral of Queen
Saowabha (Sri Pacharintra).
1921 – The Prince was awarded the Certificate of Public Health
1923 – Edinburgh University, Scotland, to Study medicine.
Finding cold weather there harmful to his health, he
returned to Thailand.
1926 – A third year medical student at Harvard University
1928 – In June, the Prince took the examination, receiving an
M.D.Cam Laude and was also elected to the Alpha
Omega Alpha Fraternity. On December 13, 1928, the
Prince returned to Bangkok.
In 1903, after the topknot-cutting ceremony, his Royal Father, King Rama V, promoted him to be His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mahidol Adulyadej.
On October 30, 1929 King Rama VII posthumously conferred on his Royal Brother the royal title of “The Royal Prince Brother Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkhla”.
On March 25, 1934, King Rama VIII posthumously conferred on his Royal Father a royal title of “The Royal Prince Father Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkhla”.
On June 9, 1970, King Rama IX conferred on his Royal Father the highre royal title of “Somdech Phra Mahitalathibet Adulyadejvikom Phra Boromrajnok”.
Ranks and Positions in the Armed Forces
Imperial German Navy
1. 1911 – Junior Lieutenant in German Navy
Royal Thai Navy
1. 26 January, 1911 – Sub-Lieutenant
2. 31 March, 1914 – Junior Lieutenant
3. 19 June, 1916 – Captain
Royal Thai Army
1. 1924 – Lieutenant Colonel
2. 1926 – Colonel
Civilian Career Positions
1916 – Resident doctor of the Royal Thai Naval Cadet School
1923 – Director-General of the University Department of the
Ministry of Education 1924 – Inspector-General of the Ministry of Education
1925 – Committee Chairman of the Siriraj School of Medicine
1928 – Special lecturer, teaching preventive and social medicine to
final year medical students at Siriraj Medical School
1929 – Member of the Thai Medical Association
Special Civilian Positions
1. Committee Member of the Thai Red Cross Society
2. Honorary Committee Member of the Vajiravudh College
3. Special lecturer, teaching Thai art and history and anatomy to
second-year per-medical students at Chulalongkorn University
25 April 1929 – 18 May 1929 = Resident doctor of MacCormick Hospital , Chiang Mai Province
On September 10, 1920, with the permission of King Rama VI, HRH Prince Mahidol married Miss Sangwan Talabhat in a Royal Wedding Ceremony at Srapathum Palace in Bangkok.
Sons and daughter
1. HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, the eldest daughter, born in London, England, on May 6, 1923.
2. HRH Prince Ananda Mahidol, later King Rama VIII, born in Heidelberg, Germany, on September 20, 1925.
3. HRH Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej, His Majesty the King, born at Mount Auburn Hospital,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, the United States, on December 5, 1927.
1. 1923 – The Prince had suffered from a chronic kidney ailment. A European doctor told him that he would live only for two more years.
2. 1927 – The Prince was operated on for appendicitis.
3. 1929 – The Prince suffered a severe liver disease for four months.
HRH Prince Mahidol passed away on September 24, 1929, at the age of thirty-eight.
1. Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri
2. Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Illustrious Order of Chom Klao
3. Knight of the Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems
4. King Chulalongkorn’s Royal Cypher Medal (Rama V)
5. King Vajiravudh’s Royal Cypher Medal (Rama VI)
6. King Prajadhipok’s Coronation Medal (Rama VIII)
1. A research paper, “Tuberculosis”, published by the Health Department was given out at the funeral of Prince Chakrabongse in September 1920.
2. A speech, “How to Handle Sanitary Conditions”, delivered to a gathering of medical trainees in 1942.
3. “Diphyllobothrium Latum in Massachusetts”. A Report of Two Indigenous Cases : J.A. M.A. : 90 1607-1608, May 19, 1928.
His Generosity toward the Medical Field
Throughout his life, the Prince donated a total of approcimately Baht 1,400,000 for medical work. Among his donations were :
1. Baht 80,000, given to him by King Rama VI for his personal use, to build a male surgery building at Siriraj Hospital in 1920.
2. Baht 200,000, donated on his 28th birthday in the form of a trust fund, to send worthy students to medical schools abroad.
3. Baht 70,000, in 1924, to buy and renovate a building to be used as a dormitory for nursing students.
4. Donation for the salary of nursing teachers from abroad.
5. Baht 200,000, in 1927, to help build a hospital administration building.
6. Scholarships, established in 1928, to send 10 students to study abroad in the area of Public Health.
7. Two research grants to newly graduated doctors, donated in 1929.
8. Baht 60,000, to buy an x-ray machine for use at MacCormic Hospital, Chiang Mai, in 1929.
Above all, the Prince’s support of education went beyond the health area. In 1924, he donated a sum to the Bangkok Christian School to hire an American teacher, and two years later he gave Baht 100,000 in scholarships to the Department of Fisheries.
Cultural activities to be held on Mahidol Day
1. An exhibition on the Prince’s life and work.
2. An academic seminar on modern medical plans in Thailand.
3. A discussion of a royally-initiated modern medical plan.
4. Performances and multi-vision slides covering the Prince’s dedication
to medical work in Thailand.
5. A contest between outstanding hospitals.
6. Other activities such as an Award presentation to dedicated doctors
who work for the betterment of rural people.
Translated by Mr. Thanapol (Lamduan) Chadchaidee and Dr. Stephen Conlon
source : http://webhost.m-culture.go.th