A teenage girl from the Hunter Valley coalfields was so desperate to be a part of Australia's war effort that she cut her hair, dressed as a soldier and stowed away on a troopship.

The exploits of Maud Butler, a resourceful 16-year-old waitress with a sense of adventure, are being researched by historian Professor Victoria Haskins. As part of her study, Professor Haskins is researching Maud's expedition, which she says runs several chapters. Here, Professor Haskins writes about Maud's initial run-in with authorities.

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