It is just here, we want to digrees to explain how far he went out of his way to uphold the honour of another Asian Dignity who found himself in dire trouble. During his society rounds he was introduced to the Heir Apparent of the Sultan of Johore, an instant friendship was stuck up between them. The young prince was invited many times to receptions at the Siamese Legation at Ashburn Place. This young prince was however, the terror of some restaurants and hunts where the young set went to. He was well-known for his pranks and practical jokes. His high handed ways were not appreciated at these haunts, and were frowned on by the authorities as, in those days, a strict Victorian attitude still exsisted and the police, more than once had to be called in. And should dignitaries like our young prince get involved too much, there was fair chance that the Colonial Secretary, who was in charge of such matters, would be informed. Well, one day or rather one night, matters got out of hand and a lot of damage was caused and the police had to take action. The Prince's case was reported to the Colonial Secretary and the Prince after being reprimanded, was told that if another incident took place he would be sent back home in disgrace. Well, he informed Phya Raja (Pier) about his predicament, and the Siamese Minister informed him that if he got into a fix again to just let him know.
After the lapse of several months, our young Prince was again dire trouble with the police, but this time he mentioned he was a Siamese student under the charge of the Siamese Minister. The Police notified the Siamese Legation at eleven o'clock in the evening that of his student charges was in trouble at the Police Station. At once Phya Raja went to the Police Station, paid all damages and reassured the authorities that he would severely reprimand his charge. Thus the Prince's honour was maintained and no loss of face occurred. Interesting is the fact that they did not meet again for the next seventeen years.
Now back to our narrative. It happened at a Christmas party in 1905-the beginning of the end of a most promising career of Phya Raja Nuprabandh (Pier). It was at this party he was introduced to a debutante, the charming and beautiful Miss Doris Grace Flatau-Power. It was a matter a both of them falling head over heels in love. They were married and had two children! Oudaya Bhanuwongse and Mani Xenier (Khun Mani Siriworasarn). The marriage, unfortunately, created social and political adverse consequences which resulted in Phya Raja Nuprabandh's 'self' exile from his beloved Siam for a number of years.
This is merely a genealogical narrative, so we shall skip to the beginning of 1919, just after the end of World War I, when Admiral H.R.H. Prince Chumporn Udomsadti came to London to make arrangements for the belated acceptance of H.M.S. Trident. This ship had been ordered by the Siamese Government prior to World War I but was commandeered by the British for war use. As soon as Phya Raja (Pier) heard of the arrival of H.R.H. Prince Chumporn he took his son Oudaya and went to the Claridge Hotel, where His Royal Highness was staying- for Phya Raja had decided, at last, to return to Siam. The audience lasted for three hours, the conversation in Siamese, Oudaya was later to know that the prince had assured his father that he would inform King Rama VI of Pier's desire to return to Siam and they should prepare to do so. His Royal Highness promised that within six months Phya Raja would return on the H.T.M.S. Phra Ruang (Ex. H.M.S. Trident) with him.
Within six months, however, a message was received from the Siamese Legation, for Phya Raja to report immediately. There he met Phya Buree Nawaraj, who had come to succeed Phya Sudham Maitri as Minister in early 1920. The Minister informed him that he had received personal instructions from H.M. King Rama VI to expedite Phya Raja's return to Siam. He also handed Phya Raja a personal note from H.M. King Rama VI, and after reading it, Phya Raja broke into tears. That was the first and last time his son Oudaya ever saw his father in tears. At once Phya Raja contacted Mr. H.N. Andersen, who at once responsed in ordering a deluxe cabin on the M.S. Jutlandia to be put at the disposal of Phya Raja and his family. Mr. Andersen, also issued orders that at all ports of call Phya Raja would be the guest of honour of the East Asiatic Company.
Phya Raja and family left Middlesborough on 13th July 1920, after a long voyage, stopping to load and unload cargo at Antwerp, Colombo, Aden, Alexandria, Semarang Batavia, Sourabaya and Singapore lasting two and a half months, the good slip M.S. Jutlandia arrived at Koh Si Chang on September 25, 1920. A short distance away was H.T.M.S. Phra Ruang (Ex. H.M.S. Trident). After discharging part of her cargo the M.S. Jutlandia arrived at 6 O'clock in the evening of the 30th September 1920 (being the birthday of Phya Raja) at the Wat Phya Krai Wharf and standing there were Lieutentant Thirt Bunnag (afterwards Major Luang Raja Nuraks) at that time a Calvary Guard officer and his sister Khun Nian there to greet their parents Phya Raja and Lady Doris.
To cut a long story short, Phya Dhumsareneti (Tuk) a step brother, Luang Thep Prakas (Tew) his brother who had been his attached in Japan and London, Phya Chamnong Ditakarn (Thep) also his attach, his sister Khun Lek and KhunTae his youngest sister, as well as some cousins : Phya Supan Sombat (Tin), Phya Chai Surin (Tan), and Phya Rajamitri (Tom) were the only warm nasty nice reception. He lived on a pension granted by H.M. King Rama VI and an allowance given by Mr. H.N. Andersen.
He passed away peacefully after a stroke on the 7th August 1926, at his age of sixty-six.
Copyright © 2005 Bunnag.in.th All rights reserved.