Hoang Hoa Tham – Yen The Hero

Hoang Hoa Tham, whose real name is Truong Van Nghia, was born in 1845 and died in 1913 in Di Che commune, Tien Lu district, Hung Yen province. The uprising movement of Yen The farmers always holds an important position in the ever-increasing development of the revolutionary patriotic movement of our people in the late 19th century and early 20th century, which affirms the tradition of patriotism of our nation.

Born and grew up in a family with patriotic traditions, formerly domiciled and oppressed, he joined the insurgency under the command of De Nam. When De Nam sacrificed, he withdrew to Phon Suong, Yen The in order to set up the base. He changed his name to Hoang Hoa Tham or De Tham. From 1887 to 1913, De Tham was the leader of Yen The insurgent army with the area and operation area around Bac Giang - Thai Nguyen - Hung Hoa. He was talented soldiers, won many generals good tactics and made the enemy fear both day and night.
The French colonialists in collaboration with its henchman province chief Le Hoan suppressed Hoang Hoa Tham in one hand and tried to seduce him on the other hand for many times but they failed to win his submission. In 1894, they agreed on reconciliation and cut off six cantons with 22 villages in Phon Xuong for him. On one hand, he pretended to accept the reconciliation, but on the other hand, he set up farms, built basis and contacted intellectual patriots such as Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh and Pham Van Ngon to expand the operation area. He was also the leader of Nghia Hung party. From that point, his continuous fight always caused great damages to the French colonialists and its henchmen. Then they had to mobilize great number of troops and made every effort on offensive. He suffered from great loss and had to hide in the forest. 
In the context of extremely unfavorable history, Yen The insurgent army gradually fell into a trap. It was not just once that De Tham was about to set foot on the sophisticated traps that the enemy had caught. At times, his destiny was also killed by betrayals from the very closest ones. However, for many years, "Sacred Yen The" by the tactics of smart and brave overcame all dangers. It was only in the first decade of the 20th  century that De Tham's forces weakened. In early 1909, on the 8th day of Ky Dau Tet holiday (29/1), the governor of Tonkin mobilized 15,000 regular soldiers and blue soldiers and 400 soldiers by Colonel Bataille and the notorious monk Le Hoan attacked on Yen The base.
On February 19th, 1913, he was assassinated by Luong Tam Ky’s henchmen. Phan Boi Chau composed a funeral oration for him, praising him as an Upright General. His third wife, Ms. Dang Thi Nhu, was also very famous. She helped him a lot in the fields of farming and battling. There exist many tales about the talent of De Tham and his wife in fighting against the enemy.
Because of his respect for the hero Yen The, Derow Sacbone, a French military officer, spent many years looking for De Tham’s tomb, and in 1944, he found out the tomb in the Ngo hill in Huu Phuc rice field.
All members of Hoang Hoa Tham’s family heroically sacrificed for the salvation of the country. His last daughter, Ms. Hoang Thi The, was captured and taken to France at the age of six or seven.  At the end of her life, she returned to Vietnam and died here. In accordance with her will, she was buried in Phon Xuong, where her father spent many years building the basis to fight against the enemy. The vestiges of Phon Xuong citadel still exist and there is one statue of De Tham and his memorial house in this place.
The insurrection has retreated into history over a century ago but the Vietnamese children still cannot forget the talented leader "Sacred Yen The". Coming to Hung Yen today, you can visit Hoang Hoa Tham worshipping house in Di Che commune, Tien Lu district, Hung Yen province. It is an educational place of patriotism for the future generations.

 

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