Vernon Small at Stuff reports:
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse has upset an Otago family by wrongly claiming Trooper Frank Woodhouse, who died in Gallipoli aged just 20, was his great uncle.
Woodhouse told a reporter while he was in Turkey for the 99th anniversary of the Anzac landings last month that he had seen the name on a memorial there and after checking online found it was his great uncle.
But a spokesman for the aggrieved family, Gareth Woodhouse, said the man was his great uncle, not the minister’s. The family had his medals, a letter from the King about his service, and the original of a picture now on the Auckland Cenotaph website.
He had sent a “long, pointed” email to Michael Woodhouse about his claim and he had come back with a “semi-apology”.
Gareth Woodhouse said he had not done an exact genealogy, but Frank was the brother of his grandfather Cecil, who just before he died had told him about Frank.
He said Woodhouse was a minister of the Crown and Veterans’ affairs minister. “The family feels Michael Woodhouse should have done more research before making claims to the media about Frank Woodhouse.”
And he should have. While there could well be a relationship there, you shouldn’t claim a specific relationship such as great uncle when it is wrong.