Any idea who either of these two were? Colonel King & Major Zeigler

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Chris C, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    So, this is just an entry in the war diary of the 55th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment, who were the first to receive Archers, in November 1944. In that context, on Nov 7, the WD has the following:

    "Colonel King and Major Zeigler brought questionnaire on 17-pounder Valentine equipments and discussed with CO equipments and training"​

    Now that I think about it, I think I know the questionnaire - at the end of the year, a report was published about the opinions of users about self-propelled guns (for both field artillery and anti-tank), with opinions from many regiments.

    What I'm wondering, though - is were these fellows from the Royal Artillery or from 21st Army Group? Is "Zeigler" a rare enough name that it might be possible to determine? I have no other information on these two.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    One possible:

    (679) - Army lists > Quarterly Army Lists (Second Series), July 1940-December 1950 > 1944 > Second quarter > Part 1 > Volume 1 - British Military lists - National Library of Scotland
    Screenshot 2019-02-19 at 18.06.59.png
    Army List, 1944, 2nd Quarter
    Royal Artillery
    Regular Army Emergency Commissions
    H.C. Zeigler

    Army lists - British Military lists - National Library of Scotland

    Can't be sure if it's your man, but this is the same Zeigler on the above Army List:

    LG 19 NOVEMBER,1940

    The undermentioned Cadets, from 122nd, 123rd and 133rd O.C.T.U.s, to be 2nd Lts. except as otherwise stated: —
    2nd Nov. 1940:—
    Harold Colin ZEIGLER (155333)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi dbf,

    Thanks for that! I think it is very likely the same man since the dates of commission as Lieutenant are both the same, along with the initials.

    I should go back and look at the questionnaire report to see if there's any mention of them.

  4. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Have you seen information about an Archer sent to Normandy in Jul-Aug 44 timescale. I’ve seen mention of a demo at 59 Inf Div - were 55 A Tk Regt theirs?

    I’ll dig out the specific reference if you are interested. I think it was in the 102 A Tk Regt war diary.


  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi Tom,

    Yes, they were the 59 Inf Div's unit. I do have WD's for both regiments, but thank you for the kind offer! They received 2 Archers for trials in July. Their WD has a copy of a letter sent back to their Corps in which they said, effectively, "we think the FAT is useless for towing 17 pounders, please give us these SPs, and since we have experience with SP's (I'm not sure when!) can we please have these before other units?". And it seems like that actually worked, in a fashion, as they got them a month before the other regiments!

    If you want to know more, there is a recording with a veteran named Frank Whitehead on the IWM website who headed one of the trial crews - pretty incredible.

  6. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Harold Colin ZIEGLER 12th June 1910 Chorlton, Lancashire - 4Q 1994 West Oxfordshire

    Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 09.55.21.png
    Enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1938. Commissioned from the ranks 1st November 1940

    Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 09.48.38.png
    Sketch 13th January 1932
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    17 pdr hill 112.jpg

    IIRC this famous photo is of a 55th Anti Regiment 17 pounder KOs on Op Greenline and illustrates the uselessness of the FAT for the 17 Pounder. In the same operation Churchill tanks were enlisted from the RAC to tow the 17 pdrs - also failed. 55 Anti tank Regiment may have had batteries of the Corps SAtk Regiment under command at some point. At least some of the Corps Atk Regiments preferred the M10 to the Valentine SP.
    Chris C likes this.
  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    The General Staff preferred the M10 too, but there weren't enough to issue to the infantry division AT regiments.
  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Ran across the name King again this morning purely by accident. I wonder if this was the same man or not, but if so, there must have been a mistake in the 55th's War Diary, as this gives his rank of Lt Colonel not Colonel:

    3rd Canadian Anti-Tank war diary, Jan 12th:
    "Lt.-Col King of 21 Army Group who is the technical advisor on Armoured equipment visited this HQ to discuss equipment problems within the regiment"

    (The 3rd were in the midst of converting from M10s to Archers at this point but I am not sure what the problems were.)
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Aaaand I found another reference describing him as the Ministry of Supply representative to 21 Army Group.

    (Not that I think anyone else particularly cares but...)
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Finally! Found em!

    In the war diary of the Canadian AFV(Technical) section is information about the unit for 21 Army Group

    AFV (Technical) 21 Army Group
    Lt. Col W. S. King (RA) (one of the assistant directors)
    Major D.A. Zeigler (RA) (one of the deputy assistant directors)

    These men (and others) were "technical officers from the Ministry of Supply".
    War diaries : T-15431 - Héritage

    Interestingly it seems like Lt Col King, while belonging to the RA, was involved with 1st Canadian Army.

    edit: until - as I go through the WD - on 29 Oct 44 he left for HQ 21 Army Group to take over the SP Artillery section at AFV(T).
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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