Veterans' ward named after Kiwi soldier killed in Afghanistan

Jacinda Baker would be chuffed to have a medical wing named in her honour, said her father, Peter Baker. Photo / File
Jacinda Baker would be chuffed to have a medical wing named in her honour, said her father, Peter Baker. Photo / File

A new aged-care hospital ward will be named in memory of a Kiwi soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2012.

The new ward at the Rannerdale Veterans Care rest home and hospital in Christchurch will be called the Jacinda Baker Wing, in recognition of the service and sacrifice of a younger generation of Kiwi soldiers, the home and the Defence Force said in an Anzac Day announcement.

Aged 26, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, a medic, was killed in August 2012 in Afghanistan with two colleagues when the Humvee vehicle they were travelling in hit a 20kg improvised explosive device, a type of bomb.

"It's a very emotional time for us on Anzac Day," Jacinda's father, Peter, said. "Jacinda would be chuffed to have a medical wing named in her honour."

Her mother, Joyce, said: "In 20 or 30 years' time it might be the colleagues she served with, or under, who are at Rannerdale and it'll be a name they recognise.

The home has a strong relationship with Canterbury's Burnham Military Camp and its Health Training School, where Jacinda trained.

Rannerdale has 65 residents and expects the new 10-bed wing to be completed by August. A non-profit facility, it is appealing for public donations to help with the fit-out of the new wing.

• Donations can be made at: https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/4473-rannerdale-veterans-new-hospital-wing-refit

- NZ Herald

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