An account of the true story which inspired the film Paradise Road.
In 1942 a group of sixty-five Australian Army nursing sisters was evacuated from Malaya a few days before the fall of Singapore. Two days later their ship was bombed and sunk by the Japanese. Of the fifty-three survivors who scrambled ashore, twenty-one were murdered and the remaining thirty-two taken prisoner.
'White Coolies' is the engrossing record kept by one of the sisters, Betty Jeffrey, during the more than three gruelling years of imprisonment that followed. It is an amazing story of survival amid deprivation and the harshest of conditions. The women's ingenious and entertaining attempts to make their lot more tolerable, and the comradeship as they suffered so much anguish, display their incredible endurance and strength in the face of adversity.