The Tiger has Many Lives: The Story of Rod Wells

The Tiger has Many Lives: The Story of Rod Wells
by Pamela Wells
Sevenpens Publishing (2022)

Available Here

The Story of Rod Wells is a remarkable tale of determination, endurance and survival in WW2. Rod had a passion for wireless technology and served in Malaya and Singapore as an officer with 8 Division Signals. 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, Rod joined a local underground movement. Using his ingenuity and skill he built a wireless radio and also a transmitter virtually from scratch. In July 1943, when the underground was betrayed, Rod was arrested by the Kempeitai and subjected to brutal torture before being tried and sent to Outram Road Gaol in Singapore.
Rod Wells returned to civilian and academic life to become a world expert in electronics and neuclonics. His remarkable life was defined by his determination, his will to live, his self-discipline and unfailing optimism. Rod’s story is one of extraordinary inspiration and exceptional achievements, highlighting his ability to overcome extreme hardship by never giving up.

‘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.’
Lynette Silver AM, military historian

‘It is hard to imagine a more creative person than Rod Wells. From boyhood he pushed the boundaries of discovery and his genius came to the fore as an adult. Had he lived in an earlier era, Rod may well have invented the wheel.’
David Matthews


Published by

Katherine Seppings

Artist, Writer, Photographer

5 thoughts on “The Tiger has Many Lives: The Story of Rod Wells”

      1. Greetings, l have just finished reading this magnificent book. As a Tatura lad who joined the Army many decades ago l found strong affinity with Rods story. My mother Nancy Taylor (Wells Rods cousin) often spoke of Rods life with affection and pride. I share this pride through family and service. Thank you Pamela for your care in recording both your and Rods life with us.


      2. Hi Glenn,
        Pamela Wells sent me her reply:

        Dear Glenn, thank you for your comments which have been forwarded to me from Katherine Seppings. It was lovely to hear from you – and I was very interested in your comments. Kerry had told me she had a brother in the Defence Forces but couldn’t remember just which particular unit and I think she said you had retired. Of course I remember Nancy as I sometimes met her when out shopping in Tatura. And it was so good to have Kerry and John at the book launch, as well as Elaine Cowley, Rod’s first cousin, and Wendy Pogue who is, like Kerry and you, from the next generation.

        On 26 August I travelled to Simpson Barracks, ADF School of Signals, to present the inaugural Rod Wells Award. This will be awarded to Army Reserve and Senior NCO’s for excellence in courses conducted at the School. It was lovely to be back there after almost 30 years absence and to see how it has been updated.

        If you are in Tatura please let me know – I would like to meet up with you. In the meantime the best way of contacting me is by e-mail –

        Best wishes, Pam Wells


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