Vivian Bullwinkel was a volunteer nurse during the Second World War. While she was being evacuated from Singapore, the ship on which she was travelling sank. The small group of survivors who washed ashore surrendered to Japanese occupying Banka Island. In a horrific turn of events, Japanese troops bayonetted the surviving soldiers and ordered the nurses back into the water. Bullwinkel was shot but miraculously survived. Bleeding and in a state of shock, she drifted ashore and hid in the jungle. Discovering a badly wounded British soldier, she realised the only chance of survival was to again surrender to the Japanese troops.