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Military casualties of the war


Given time, it is the intention to record a) those buried in East Lothian and b) those born in East Lothian who died elsewhere on active service between 1939 and 1945. Clearly this will be a long term project and, to a considerable extent, will depend upon visitors to the site sending in information of casualties and the location of their graves. As an example of the latter, Robert Kerr Smith kindly sent the following unusual set of photographs of his uncle, Sergeant Robert Davidson Smith, a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner with 269 Squadron, based at RAF Kaldadarnesis, Iceland, who was buried at Reykjavik (Fossvogur) cemetery on the 30th April, 1942. The photographs were sent by the Red Cross to his family, which lived in Elphinstone at the time.

WO/AG Sergeant Robert Davidson Smith, 269 Squadron, of Elphinstone, East Lothian. [RK Smith]

Sergeant Smith is on the right and, in all probability, this was his crew. The squadron flew Hudsons from RAF Kaldadarnesis, Iceland, at this time. Most of their attention was directed towards detecting and destroying U boats. [RK Smith]

The funeral cortege approaches Fossvogur Cemetery.

[RK Smith]

The coffins are carried to the graves.

[RK Smith]

The minister commits the bodies to their last resting place. [RK Smith]

The Honour Guard fires a salute.

[RK Smith]

The cross which initially marked Sergeant RD Smith’s grave in Reykjavik (Fossvogur) cemetery, Iceland.  [RK Smith]