NZ in mourning over soldiers' deaths

BURNHAM Military Camp near Christchurch is in mourning after the loss of five soldiers in little more than a fortnight.

The New Zealand flag hung at half-mast for Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, Private Richard Harris, 21, and Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, killed in Bamiyan on Sunday.

For the 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR), based in Burnham, 25km south of Christchurch, it is five deaths in two weeks.

Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, both 26 and also from 2/1 RNZIR, were killed when their patrols went to the aid of ambushed Afghan police in Bamiyan province on August 4.

"We never really recovered from the last lot - everyone is just so sad," one local shop worker said yesterday, summing up the feelings of many.

Karen Anand, who works at the local service station just outside the barbed wire perimeter of the camp, said the deaths affected everybody who lived and worked in the area.

"We serve these guys every day," she said.

"They are all lovely - just down-to-earth, normal kids. My heart goes out to their families. How many kids are left without dads?

"A couple of women I spoke to think it's going to get even worse over there - and one of them was a soldier's wife. It must affect her more than anyone."

Burnham is the medical training centre for all NZDF medics enlisted in the army, navy or air force, including local recruit Lance Corporal Baker.

It is also home to the Southern HQ of New Zealand Cadet Forces, and the base is used as a launching point for many overseas missions.

But locals feel it has received more than its share of tragedy in recent weeks.

The military actively encourages soldiers to live locally and buy houses in the area.

As a result, any deaths come as a major blow for everybody.

"The first time I hear news of a soldier's death, I wonder do I know them directly?" said Mark Alexander, a Selwyn District councillor.

"Or do I know someone affected by it, and it's almost a certainty.

"They live, work and play in our community. Their kids play in my son's sports teams. So it touches us all. We all feel for those families who've suffered the loss."

Topics:  afghanistan deaths new zealand soldiers

Police investigate deliberately lit fire north of Grafton

Rural Fire Service Wooli Police copyright Tanja Ackerman2016

Storms hamper crew's efforts to contain bushfire in rugged terrain

Truck crash closes M1 at Chinderah

Emergency crews have responded to a two-truck crash that has closed the M1 Pacific Highway at Cudgen Rd.

Truck explodes into flames after Pacific Highway crash

VIDEO: Inside the Fortis Creek bushfire

A bushfire which started in the Fortis Creek National Park north of Grafton on Wednesday, 26th October crossed Coaldale Road late on Thursday, 27th October, 2016 and was being contained on Friday, 28th October, 2016.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner

Firefighters work to contain blaze north of Grafton

Local Partners

Is it time for a skate park extension in Yamba?

IF YOU ever want to be truly terrified, swing by the Yamba skate park on any given day.

Angourie assembles strong team to defend home surf

SPRAY: Up-and-coming Angourie surfer Dakoda Walters practises his turns ahead of the Australian Boardriders Battle this weekend.

Australian Boardriders Battle hits Clarence Coast

Grafton does the Time Warpt again

The Time Warpt Dinner and Show is set for the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night.

Rocky Horror dinner show comes back to Grafton

OPINION: Magpies welcome Binge back to the nest

The Lower Clarence Magpies v Casino RSM Cougars at Maclean Showground. Pictured for the Magpies is Ryan Binge (centre).

Lower Clarence Magpies have good news ahead of AGM.

Mariah Carey and James Packer discussing relationship

Mariah Carey and James Packer are discussing how to work things out

January Jones: Take time away from your phone

January Jones needs time away from her phone

Mel C won't return to Spice Girls for daughter

MEL C is adamant she won't reunite with the Spice Girls

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Grafton does the Time Warpt again

The Time Warpt Dinner and Show is set for the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night.

Rocky Horror dinner show comes back to Grafton

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Unique riverfront home sells for more than $920,000

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!