Kurri Kurri's 62nd outdoor mural honours the women of World War I, including Maud Butler

Until about two years ago, the story of Maud Butler was relatively unknown.

The Kurri Kurri woman is now something of a local legend, with the story of her determination to serve her country in World War I brought to life in John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher's book, "You Can't Fight, You're a Girl!".

Desperate to be a part of Australia's war effort, 18-year-old Maud cut her hair, dressed as a boy soldier, and stowed away on a troop ship - only to be discovered and returned home, twice.

Maud and other inspirational women of World War I - including nurses and mothers - have been immortalised in a mural that was unveiled on the side of Kurri Kurri Library on Remembrance Day.

The mural - created by Peter Sesselmann and Stevi Cannon - is the 62nd in Towns With Heart's mural project, and is a contemporary take on original photos of Maud, a group of nurses, and a mother and children.

It was an initiative of the Kurri Kurri Centenary of Armistice committee, which was led by Mr Gillam and Ms Fletcher.

Partnering with Towns With Heart, they secured a Centenary of Armistice grant from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Mr Gillam said it was "truly gratifying" to see it come to life.

The position on the side of Kurri Kurri Library was chosen so Maud could "overlook" her former primary school, where the book was launched in 2017.

"Wouldn't it be great if the students could see her image and be reminded of the resilience she showed when times challenged her," Mr Gillam said.

PROUD: Maud Butler's granddaughter Julie Goodall and niece Faye Falk at the mural unveiling in Kurri Kurri on November 11. Picture: Krystal Sellars

PROUD: Maud Butler's granddaughter Julie Goodall and niece Faye Falk at the mural unveiling in Kurri Kurri on November 11. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Maud's granddaughter Julie Goodall and niece Faye Falk were among those in attendance for Monday's unveiling.

Ms Goodall said she did not know the story of her grandmother's desire to fight in the war until her funeral in 1988.

"We were told she was actually quite embarrassed about it," she said.

Maud went on to have three children and then studied to become a nurse and midwife. She ran a private birthing hospital in Campsie (in south-western Sydney).

Ms Goodall recalled her grandmother as an independent, intelligent woman who was very well-respected in her community.

"She loved nursing - I think she would be really happy that nursing is now a tertiary degree," she said.

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