Purachatra Jayakara

Purachatra Jayakara, Prince of Kamphaengphet (Thai: บุรฉัตรไชยากร; RTGSBurachat Chaiyakon; 23 January 1881 – 14 September 1936) was a Prince of Siam and a member of the Siamese Royal Family (later Thailand). He founded the House of Chatrajaya (ราชสกุลฉัตรไชย), his descendants still use this royal surname. He was a son of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V the Great) of Siam. He was often called the Father of the Thai radio and the Father of the Thai railways, due to his contributions in both fields.

Purachatra Jayakara
Prince of Kamphaengphet
Purachatra Jayakara.jpg
HRH Prince of Kamphaengphet
Commander of the Royal Siamese Railway
In office5 June 1917 –8 September 1928
PredecessorHenry Gittins
as the director-general
SuccessorSansoen Duriyang
Minister of Commerce and Transport
In office15 May 1926 –29 June 1932
PredecessorPrince of Chanthaburi (commerce)
Wongsanupraband (transport)
SuccessorWongsanupraband (transport)
Minister of Commerce
In office29 June –10 December 1932
Predecessorhimself as transport and commerce minister
Born(1881-01-23)23 January 1881
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Siam
Died14 September 1936(1936-09-14) (aged 55)
Singapore, Straits Settlements
SpousePrincess Prabhavasidhi Narumala
Princess Ladakham na Chiangmai
and 5 consorts
Issuesee below
Purachatra Jayakara
HouseChatrajaya family (Chakri Dynasty)
FatherChulalongkorn (Rama V)
SignaturePurachatra Jayakara บุรฉัตรไชยากร's signature


Prince Purachatra Jayakara was born on 23 January 1881 in the compound of the Grand Palace. He was the 35th son of Chulalongkorn and Consort Wat. He received the education in Suankularb Wittayalai School. In 1894, he attended Harrow School, England. Then attended School of Engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, and engineering at Chatham. And he attended studying in France and Netherlands in the School of engineering of digging dam-canals. After graduating, he went back to work in England. He became the officer of the Institution of Civil engineer.

He came back to Thailand in 1904. He worked as the military engineer, and officer of the Siamese Royal Army. He had served for 17 years. He developed the Siamese Department of Engineering militaries in his knowledge he got from the western. Later he retired himself and moved to Singapore with his family in 1933. He resided there until his death on 14 September 1936, at the age of 55.

Royal dutiesEdit

Thai railwaysEdit

In the reign of King Chulalongkorn. He gave the Siamese railway offices in control of the foreigners, for administration in the railways system around Thailand. Until his death in 1910, starting the new reign of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). He requested his stepbrother, Prince Purachatra Jayakara to be the Head of the Northern railway department. Later in 1917, King Vajiravudh include the railways of the Northern line and the Southern line into the Royal Railway department and had Prince Purachatra Jayakara as the president. He developed and well-administrated the railway system. He expanded the rail lines around the northern and southern territory. Moreover, he created the north-eastern territory's line, started from Nakhon Ratchasima Province to Ubon Ratchathani Province. And the eastern line, started from Chachoengsao Province to Sa Kaeo Province which ended at Aranyaprathet District. He brought the diesel engine to use in Siam, as the first country in Asia to do so.

Later, King Vajiravudh dissolved the road department and included into the Royal Railway Department. Prince Purachatra Jayakara was responsibility for creating all the roads and bridges around the country, such as the Kasatsuk Bridge the first railway bridge in Thailand, Ratchadaphisek Bridge in Lampang Province, Phra Buddha Yodfa Bridge and Rama VI Bridge.

In 1921, he served as the commander of the railway department. He brought the engine of searching crude oil, firstly in Fang District, Chiang Mai Province where the people there found many amounts of crude oil. He hired the American Geologist to worked as surveying in geological system, for finding crude oil and coal around Thailand.

Transportation and CommunicationsEdit

Purachatra Jayakara, Prince of Kamphaengphet and Princess Prabhavasiddh Narumala, photographed in London 2 June 1920

He was the first to bring the communication system into the country. He set up a small radio for trial broadcasting and first broadcast in 1930. He established the first radio broadcasting station called Phayathai radio station. He was the first person of Siam to establishing the communication broadcasting system in the country. Then he became the Ministry of Commerce and Transport. He considered about establishing the television broadcasting transmission, which would have made Siam the first country in Asia to experiment with television, and had contacted an American company to provide and install equipment; however, because of the Siamese Revolution of 1932, the project was cancelled. Furthermore, he created the telegraph offices around the country, for mailing services, parcel, and postal services. He created the communication services from Thailand to many foreign countries.

In the transportation systems, he interested about the flight operation systems. He demonstrated flying, later acknowledged as the first Thai people embarking. He then established the flight operation systems business aviation, including the international aviation, for commercial aviation international services.

On 1 April 1926, he became the Minister of Commerce and Transport, which were both included into the one ministry. After the Siamese Revolution, he usually did the royal duties and royal ceremonies represented his half-brother, King Prajadhipok (Rama VII), before his abdication.

Marriage and issueEdit

Official visit of members of the Royal Family of Thailand to Brisbane, 1927.
Back row, standing, left to right: Lt. Col. Neil Campbell; Princess Mayurachatra, daughter of Prince Purachatra; private secretary to Prince Purachatra; Enid Campbell; Major Cecil Wolff.
Seated left to right: Governor Sir John Goodwin; Princess Purachatra; Prince Purachatra of Siam Kambaeng Bejra, Thailand, and Lady Goodwin

Prince Purachatra Jayakara, the Prince of Kamphaengphet had 7 consorts, and 12 children; 4 sons and 8 daughters.

He firstly married on 16 November 1904 with his cousin, Princess Prabhavasidhi Narumala, daughter of Prince Chaturanta Rasmi, the Prince Chakrabadibongse, King Chulalongkorn's younger brother. The couple had 4 children; 1 son and 3 daughters;

He secondly married with the Chiang Mai's princess, Princess Ladakham of Chiang Mai had 2 daughters;

Mom Pian Chatrajaya na Ayudhya (née Surakup; 1 September 1899 – 14 July 1938), had 1 daughter;

Mom Pued Chatrajaya na Ayudhaya (née Pheungrakwong; 12 June 1906 – 5 March 1984), had 1 son;

Mom Buaphud Chatrajaya na Ayudhya (née Intrasut; born 5 April 1911), had 1 son and 1 daughter;

Mom Chamlong Chatrajaya na Ayudhya (née Chalanukroh; 8 September 1913 – 4 November 1968), had 1 daughter;

  • Princess Hiranyachatra Chatrajaya (20 October 1933 – 19 October 1998, relinquished the royal title and married Alfred Fitting, and secondly with Bevan Edwards, had issue.

Mom Euam Chatrajaya na Ayudhya (née Aruntat; 14 October 1910 – 16 February 1948), had 1 son;

Royal decorationsEdit

His style was The Prince of Kamphaengphet, translated as Krom Muen Kamphaengphet Akarayothin (Thai: กรมหมื่นกำแพงเพชรอัครโยธิน) on 29 January 1904. Later elevated by King Prajadhipok from Krom Muen to Krom Phra, the second level of the Krom ranks.


Ancestor of Prince Purachatra Jayakara, Krom Phra Kamphaengphet Akarayothin
Prince Purachatra Jayakara, the Prince of Kamphaengphet Father:
Chulalongkorn, King Rama V of Siam
Paternal Grandfather:
Mongkut, King Rama IV of Siam
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, King Rama II of Siam
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Queen Sri Suriyendra
Paternal Grandmother:
Queen Debsirindra
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Prince Sirivongse, the Prince Matayabidaksa
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Mom Noi Sirivongs na Ayudhya
Maternal Grandfather:
Lord Sathiarnraksa
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:
Maternal Great-grandfother:
Phraya Isranubhab
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Kham Kalyanamitra