Medowie author launches new picture book on World War I mighty woman, Maud Butler

Authors John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher with an assortment of their previously published books.
Authors John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher with an assortment of their previously published books.


THE title of the latest book by Medowie historian, author, and school teacher Mrs Yvonne Fletcher, and her co-author Mr John Gillam immediately captures the imagination of potential readers.

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“You can’t fight, you’re a girl!” is a picture book that tells the adventure of fearless woman, Maud Butler.

The book presents an accurate historical account of Miss Butler who wanted to contribute to Australia’s involvement in World War I.

A rugged woman, she twice stowed away in a ship, dressed as a male soldier so that she, too, could fight in the war.

A woman before her times, she was discovered both times and turned away in a most humiliating way.

She was then rejected from the Red Cross as she was unqualified to work as a nurse.

Author Mrs Fletcher told News Of The Area, “There are very few picture books on this topic that are told from a female perspective.”

“In this book we give voice to a strong woman in Australia’s history to a new generation of readers.”

Indicating the high esteem the authors and the book are held, they have been granted permission to use the Centenary of Anzac logo on its cover.

Maud is applauded for being a woman with grit and courage, never giving up on her dreams and spirit to help the best way she knew how.

Co-author, Mr Gillam told News Of The Area, “The narrative text is intended to engage the empathy of an older reader and their life’s experiences.”

“Children will find inspiration in Maud’s story of determination in pursuing her dreams and succeeding.”

Aimed at upper primary school students, the book also has free lesson ideas mapped to the curriculum.

Everyone is invited to attend the book launch to be held on Saturday, 4 November at 10.30am at Kurri Kurri Primary School.

Local MP, Ms Meryl Swanson will be speaking at the launch.

Copies of the book can be bought at


By Heather SHARP

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