In 1942 a group of 65 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 53 survivors who scrambled ashore, 21 were murdered and the remaining 32 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.
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