Military Casualties Of The War - Please help

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

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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]

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The funeral cortege approaches Fossvogur Cemetery.
[RK Smith]

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The coffins are carried to the graves.
[RK Smith]

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

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The Honour Guard fires a salute.
[RK Smith]

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

Flying accidents in East Lothian

As I mentioned before, not all the air accidents which occurred in East Lothian came from training flights but the vast majority of them did. This is hardly surprising since training during World War Two was hurried and often hampered by poor weather. The aircraft used were often single seaters and trainee pilots had little option but to get in and attempt to fly. In addition their aircraft were, more often than not, in a state of poor maintenance simply due to their high usage and general abuse.

I hope to upload information about crashes in East Lothian along with the corresponding internment information. This will take quite a while so patience will be required. The majority of casualties are buried in Dirleton and Haddington St. Martins Cemeteries.
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Dirleton cemetery, looking south
[David Haire]

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Haddington's St Martin's cemetery, looking north
[David Haire]

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