Benjamin Wheeler

(1910-1963) Major Wheeler was born and raised in Edgerton. Wheeler was a doctor in the British Army during the Second World War and was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Fall of Singapore in 1942. Interned at a POW camp on the island of Formosa, modern day Taiwan, Wheeler acted as chief medical doctor for all Commonwealth and Allied POWs, working under abhorrent conditions and brutal treatment until the camp was liberated by the Americans in 1945. Wheeler was described by a fellow POW as “life, parent and guiding star”, eventually receiving the distinction of becoming an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work in saving the lives of hundreds of prisoners and providing a measure of comfort to countless others. Wheeler enjoyed an illustrious medical career following the War. As a testament to his service and to his character, the Major was described at a post-War event by a comrade as “the finest man I have ever met and the greatest doctor.”

Category: the Soldier