MC, I don't think you're nit-picking. In many cases, especially in the time of war, if it weren't for the support services, voluntary included, there would have been even more fatalities and wounded. They were a very important group during the war effort. I know my Dad would reminisce about how grateful they were for the help they got from both the Salvation Army (he had no good words for the Red Cross...) and the villagers they met during WWII. He loved telling us about how some families would lay a spread of food on tables and benches right in their yards and invite the soldiers to eat and drink. Dad said people like that made the war bearable because they so appreciated the efforts of the soldiers.
I didn't know much about the battle of Somme, so I read a few articles online just now. Because of your post I'm a little smarter (and sadder) today.
“You shouldn’t wait to be senile before you become eccentric.”— Helene Truter
"Remember, all that matters in the end is getting the meal on the table." ~ Julia Child