top of page

10th March 1915


Informal outdoor portrait of Maud Butler who twice attempted to stow away to the front.

Firstly, on the HMAT Suevic in December 1915, where she disguised herself as a soldier and hid in a life boat for over a day until she was discovered and returned to Australia. Her second attempt was aboard the HMAT Star of England in March 1916, where she feigned drunkeness and stumbled aboard with other troops returning from leave. She was discovered the following morning during a routine check - her service number did not match any on the officer's list.

Following this attempt, Maud was charged and found guilty of having wrongfully worn military uniform. In light of these failures, Maud abandoned the idea of travelling to the front and instead tried to help the war effort by collecting money for charity. On 25 April 1916 she was collecting money while wearing an AIF uniform when she was arrested by Military Police.

They initially thought she was a soldier contravening a recent military order that men in uniform could not collect money for the war effort, not realising she was female.

Maud pleaded guilty, escaping a fine and promised never to appear in uniform again.

For more information about Australia in World War I

Diary of an ANZAC soldier. A WWI diary found in 2022. One man's story, told 108 years later.

Lest we forget.



bottom of page