Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Zealand Army Lance-Corporal Jacinda Baker

New Zealand Army Lance-Corporal Jacinda Francis Elyse Baker, serving with the 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) was one of three soldiers killed on 19th August 2012 in the north-east of Bamiyan province.

They were in the last vehicle of a convoy escorting a fellow patrol member to a doctor when their Humvee was hit by an improvised explosive device about 9.20am (Afghanistan time). They had deployed to Afghanistan in April. The attack occurred northwest of Do Abe, near where New Zealander Lance Corporals Rory Malone and Pralli Durrer were killed in a firefight on 4th August.

L-Cpl. Baker joined the New Zealand Army as a medic and was posted to Burnham Regional Support Company in April 2007. She was posted to 2/1 RNZIR in December 2007, and deployed to Solomon Islands in 2010. She received a Chief of Army Commendation in 2011 for her professionalism and courage during Exercise Southern Warrior in June 2008.

L-Cpl. Baker died nine days before her birthday. Her family said in a press statement: "Jacinda was a girl full of spirit, always ready for her next adventure. She was fearless and would give anything a go. Jacinda was loyal and our rock. She was the one to turn to if you needed someone calm, with practical help to get you through whatever it was you were going through.''

The other New Zealanders killed were Private Richard Harris and Corporal Luke Tamatear.

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