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Agnes Betty Jeffrey, OAM (14 May 1908 – 13 September 2000) was an Australian writer who wrote about her Second World War nursing experiences in the book White Coolies.

Betty Jeffrey
Agnes Betty Jeffrey OAM 1908 2000.jpg
Born14 May 1908
Died13 September 2000


Jeffrey was a nurse in the 2/10th Australian General Hospital during World War II; she was taken captive by the Japanese Imperial Army and interned in the Dutch East Indies. She later wrote about her experiences in the book White Coolies, which partially inspired the film Paradise Road and the 1955 Australian radio series White Coolies .[1] Margaret Dryburgh, Vivian Bullwinkel and Wilma Oram were fellow internees with Jeffrey.


  • White Coolies, Betty Jeffrey, Eden Paperbacks, Sydney, 1954 ISBN 0-207-16107-0


  1. ^ "White Coolies Radio Series". Retrieved 19 October 2011.

Further readingEdit