John Hefferlin

Rifleman John Hefferlin was one of three men from the Royal Ulster Rifles who died in a road vehicle collision on 16th March 1942 at Dunadry, Co. Antrim.

Rifleman

John Hefferlin

7018196

John Hefferlin was 45 years old and serving with 6th Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles when he died in a tragic road collision in Co. Antrim. Two other men from the Battalion died in the crash.

Rifleman John Hefferlin (7018196) served in 6th Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles during World War Two. He was born in Co. Fermanagh. At the time of his death, he was single and lived at Lonsdale Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim.

John died at Massereene Hospital, Antrim, Co. Antrim at 1245hrs on 16th March 1941 aged 45 years old. He was one of 3 men serving in the Rifles killed when their lorry crashed at Dunadry, Co. Antrim.

The vehicle was on its way from Belfast to Antrim when it struck a barricade near a bridge. The impact threw the men from the vehicle, leaving them with severe head injuries and lacerations. The other victims of the lorry crash were Corporal J McKeown and Sergeant Major Jim McIlvenny. The driver JS Donly survived the incident, suffering from shock.

Grave of John Hefferlin

WartimeNI Photo: The grave of Rifleman John Hefferlin who died on 16th March 1942 in Massereene Hospital, Co. Antrim. Photo taken on 11th November 2017. Copyright Scott Edgar - WartimeNI.

Dr. Hall Stewart, Antrim County Coroner, conducted an inquest the following day. Bus driver Henry Gilmour of Springwell Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim saw the lorry on the road as he was driving a bus in the opposite direction. In his opinion, the lorry was travelling fast, between 40-50mph, and the chassis lay to the offside.

Private Leslie Kent, Royal Army Service Corps observed the accident and agreed with Gimour regarding the lorry’s speed. He told how the side and canopy of the lorry tore away in the crash and he helped attend the injured men.

John Hefferlin’s grave is in Section A, Row LG, Grave 37 of Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim.

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