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American women disguises herself as a man to go to the front
'Private' Hazel Carter Photo: US National Archives

American women disguises herself as a man to go to the front

New York, 4 August 1917 - A remarkable story has come to light of a young woman who, disguised as an American soldier, travelled aboard a United States transport bound for France, and was only discovered when the vessel was three days out in the Atlantic.

The young women is Mrs Hazel Carter, wife of Corporal John Carter of Douglas, Arizona. She is now described as ‘Private Hazel Carter, of the United States Army, retired, the first American soldier to come back from France'.

The woman was not permitted to land in France, however, and returned to the United States as a military prisoner, but has been released. She had tried to join the Red Cross in order to be near her husband, but failing in this she cut her hair short, donned khaki, and boarded the troop train at the rear just as it pulled out of Douglas, her husband being in the front portion with his company.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.