1942. Tens of thousands of brave young soldiers become prisoners of war when Japanese forces overrun Singapore. Churchill calls it “the greatest disaster ever to have befallen the British Empire”. Eric Lomax, a 21 year old Signals Engineer and railway enthusiast, is one of the surrendered men. Sent to work on the construction of the notorious Death Railway in Thailand, Eric witnesses unimaginable suffering; men forced to hack through rock and jungle with their bare hands, beaten, starved and prey to tropical diseases. He builds a secret radio to bring hope. As he whispers news of Hitler’s defeats or American advances in the Pacific, a thousand backs straighten and exhausted, desperate men resolve to survive another day.