True story of a prisoner of war

Tale of endurance: Pam Wells will be speaking at the Tatura Library about her recently published biography of her husband Rod Wells’s experience as a POW during World War II on Saturday, June 21. Photo: Kaye Watson.

Goulburn Valley author Pam Wells will speak at the Tatura Library in June about her book The Tiger has Many Lives: The Story of Rod Wells, which tells her late husband’s story of survival as a Japanese prisoner of war during WWII.

His nightmare began in 1942 when Singapore fell to the Japanese, allied forces surrendered, and he became a prisoner of war.

Sent to Sandakan in British North Borneo, Mr Wells joined a local underground movement where he used his electronics skills to build a wireless radio and a transmitter virtually from scratch.

In July 1943, when the underground was betrayed, Mr Wells was arrested and subjected to brutal torture before being sent to Outram Road Gaol in Singapore.

“As one of the few first-hand accounts of POW life in Borneo’s Sandakan Camp and the equally infamous Outram Road Gaol in Singapore, this book will be a valuable addition to the nation’s military heritage,” military historian Lynette Silver said.

Pam and Rod Wells were married in 1974, and soon after she started documenting her husband’s life.

Mrs Wells compiled numerous oral histories, interview transcripts and trial records of Mr Wells’’s time with 8 Division Signals in Malaya, his subsequent imprisonment and his survival.

Mr Wells grew up on a farm at Dhurringile and Pamela grew up in Echuca.

Mr Wells was active in Shepparton Legacy, Rushworth RSL and Jubilee Masonic Lodge Rushworth.

If you would like to join Mrs Wells at the Tatura Library on Saturday, June 21 at 7.30pm, contact Goulburn Valley Libraries on 1300 374 765 or email

Copies of the book will be available for purchase; however, sales are cash only.