See Latrobe's diary of his trips to New Orleans and his stay there, Impressions respecting New Orleans (ed. by S. Wilson, Jr., 1951); study by T. Hamlin (1955).
The young Ben or Bennie as he was affectionately known, was a quiet boy who kept much to himself and loved to play at Pierce Reservoir, where his father worked. He had a close relationship with his sister Alice and often loved to play doctor with her. There was once when he made Alice swallow a one-cent coin as a medical “pill” in their game. Benjamin was six years old then and received a good hiding from his mother Lilian. Throughout his growing years, Benjamin showed ambition to become a doctor - a dream deemed almost impossible for someone who was Asian and came from a poor family in the early colonial days of Singapore. However, Alice continued to spirit him on with that dream, against his mother's wishes for her son to take up a job as a clerk and start helping out with the family bills as soon as he completed his Senior Cambridge Examinations (O-Level equivalent).
Sheares attended the Methodist Girls' School and then in 1918 went to Saint Andrew's School, Singapore. In in 1922, he transferred himself to study at the Raffles Institution, as the Institution was the only school equipped with scientific laboratories- making it an ideal place to further his ambition to become a doctor. In 1923, he enrolled into the King Edward VII College of Medicine Singapore to begin his medical training. But he knew too well that his family could not see him through the hefty school fees afforded by the College, and he won a generous scholarship offered by the Council of the Medical College with his exemplary academic performance. With this quantum, he was able to give $50 monthly to his mother for the support of his family.
He continued to excel in his studies and was awarded four medals by his College. Later, he passed his Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) final examinations with distinctions. Upon graduation and working as an obstetrician in the Kandang Kerbau Hospital and a professor at the University of Malaya he continued to support his family, and assumed full responsibility for his family when his father died in 1940. Dr. Sheares was also the first Chancellor of the National University of Singapore.
The Benjamin Sheares Bridge is named after him, as is a student's residence hall, Sheares Hall, in the National University of Singapore. One of Sheares' main contributions to medicine was a technique to create an artificial vagina for those born without one. A modification of it is still used for sex change operations today.
– A biography of Dr. Benjamin Sheares written by his son, Dr. Joseph Sheares, noting the contributions of Dr. Sheares as an obstetrician, gynaecologist and President of Singapore, and offering an intimate insight into Dr. Sheares' life before and after taking public office.