Pham Bach Ho

Pham Bach Ho was born in a peasant family in Dang Chau, Ngoc Duong commune (Now belonging to Hung Yen city). He was a talented general of our nation. After his death, he was worshipped in May Temple in Hung Yen province.

Pham Bach Ho was an influential person in Dang Chau area, a talented general of Ngo Quyen and made many contributions right from the beginning of the Ngo Quyen reign. In 937, he led a thousand troops to unify with Ngo Quyen’s army in Gia Vien citadel and won Ngo Quyen’s trust and was in charge of military power. He was also known as General Pham Phong At.

Pham Bach Ho made many significant contributions to the defense of Ngo Quyen’s reign. He was the person leading five thousand troops to Dai La citadel to kill Kieu Cong Tien, who earlier had killed Duong Dinh Nghe - Ngo quyen's father-in-law, was a treacherous person and plotted to call on Nam Han army to invade the country.

Especially, General Pham Bach Ho made a great contribution to the historic Bach Dang victory (in 938), totally defeating the Nam Han invaders. When the Ngo dynasty declined, he led one of twelve army groups to rule Dang Chau area as his feud. He was always loyal to the Ngo dynasty. When Ngo Quyen died in 944, Duong Tam Kha (Ngo Quyen’s brother-in-law) usurped the throne. He helped Ngo Xuong Van (one of Ngo Quyen’s sons) to take back the throne. When the Ngo dynasty fell, he took Ngo Xuong Van to his stronghold in Dang Chau area and continued the cause of Ngo Quyen. Even when the country had no King, he and his troops successfully defended the seaport of the Red River, an important waterway leading to Dai La citadel, and administered a large area. He also helped people to reclaim wild land for agricultural production.

When Dinh Bo Linh put down the revolt by twelve warlords and brought reunification to the country, Pham Bach Ho resigned himself to the Dinh dynasty and helped to strengthen the new dynasty. In 980, after Dinh Bo Linh and his son were killed, China’s Tong dynasty intended to invade the country. Because another son of Dinh Bo Linh was still young, the courtier proclaimed General Le Hoan as the emperor. General Pham Bach Ho, then 79 years old, asked to be in charge of military provisions. The King praised him for his courage and assigned him to be in charge of military supplies in Thien Ban.

When he died, he was titled of a good genius. Local people established a temple for worshipping him; it is called May temple.  Currently, May temple has still preserved 27 ancient statues which were followed the structure of Later Le dynasty. These statues were carved skillfully and beautifully to show the makers’ creation. In addition, there are precious big writings, parallel sentences, and altars in the temple. The most outstanding big writing is “Thai Binh Vuong’s house” and a writing made by Doctor Chu Manh Trinh which praised nice scene and the sacredness of the temple.

Every year, people often organize the festival from January 8th to January 16th (the General’s birthday), from November 12th to November 18th (the General’s date of death) and from June 16th to June 24th (the date of death of Pham Bach Ho’s father).

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