Mare’s memory from this evening with Grandpa is consistent with a number of details I collected, previously. Other family members have shared different aspects of this story with me. I have also seen the pocket book Mare refers to. It was in my dad's possession and I remember listening to him tell me why it was stained. Unfortunately, we still have been unable to relocate it.
It is also interesting that more formal sources of information (e.g. WW1 histories, excerpts from soldier's journals, etc.), independently, confirm details contained in Mare's narrative. These include:
- Direct orders (Usually given at the beginning of an attack) that no soldier stop or return to pick up the dead or injured,
- The deplorable and inhumane conditions that existed on the Western Front, and
- The standards of discipline and consequences for soldiers who disobeyed a direct order.
The British High Command did not allow the rescue of wounded men in the open, in case the rescuers themselves should become wounded. The Australians [ANZAC’s] disobeyed. They could not leave their mates stranded and calling for help. One officer walked across the battlefield and made a truce with the Germans. He even offered himself as a prisoner while his men tried to find all the Australian [ANZAC] wounded. (http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ww1/overview/west.html)