By The Nation
The King dispatched a palace official, Maj-General Kalsan Chantharasen, to read out the royal compliment at a ceremony held in front of Chumphon provincial hall at 9am.
Chadarat Thanabat, 36, the widow of Sergeant Somchai Thanabat, was present to hear the compliment from the King for her late husband.
The ceremony was also attended by Chumphon Governor Wibul Ratanapornwong and Fourth Army Area commander Maj-General Pornchai Inthanu.
Somchai was killed when trying to save the life of an Army conscript during a grenade-hurling training exercise on June 4 at the Prachuap Khiri Khan Infantry command centre.
The conscript had frozen and was unable to throw a live grenade after removing the safety pin, so Somchai jumped in to take the weapon from his hand.
Tragically, the grenade exploded as Somchai grabbed it, killing him and severely injuring the conscript.
In his message, His Majesty said that Somchai deserved a compliment for his bravery and sacrifice and for taking responsibility as a trainer by trying to save his student.
The King said the sergeant should be regarded as a good model for Thai soldiers.
A funeral service for Somchai is being held at Wat Thung Chang Phuak in Tambon Salui, in Chumphon’s Tha Sae district.
A cremation rite will be held on Thursday.