Sergeant Edward Martin Finucane's grave in Foxton once had a simple cross.

The World War I Veteran's nephew, Terry Burch of Raumati Beach, discovered his grave only five years ago and would visit to place flowers.

The story in the Manawatū Guardian on March 5, that the World War I veteran's grave was installed with a more fitting memorial on March 1 by the NZ Remembrance Army led to a surprising contact.

Sergeant Finucane had 11 children - four boys and seven girls.


The last daughter was Evelyn Heap who lived in Feilding and died in 2017, aged 90.

Brendon Hallas of Woodville called the Guardian to say someone in the family had read the story.

"The phone was running red hot - it went crazy."

The Finucane family hotline was in full gear as Sgt Finucane's grandchildren contacted each other.

"We live in Woodville, Feilding, Foxton, Auckland, Whanganui, Hastings, Timaru, Gisborne, and growing," said Brendon.

The call went out and the family rallied and met at their grandfather's grave with the nephew Terry Burch last Sunday.

Another grandson Colin Heap from Halcombe who made the first wooden cross was there.

Brendon said he and his wife Margaret were the other people who laid flowers on his grandfather's grave.


"We were planning on erecting a new cross," he said.

"No one in the family was aware that you could go through the Army to rededicate a headstone."