The best peice of explosive kit in The British Army...

#1
Chaps and Chapesses,

Need some help here. I've just been having a chat with a mate about the time he blew off all his eyebrows and hair in Bosnia and neither of us can remember what the thing was he did it with.

Basically, it's a big dustbin that you fill with water, then you turn on a tap that drips petrol into a reservoir about the size of a tin of compo Bacon Grill, you light the petrol and it heats the water so you can have a wash and shave in the field.

It was all in the timing. Get it right and half an hour later you had a lovely warm wash and scrape, get it wrong and you damn near blew your head off, as my mate did.

Laugh? I nearly passed my fags around... :D He looked like a startled Al Jolson

Anyone remember what it was called? Was it a 'Burco Boiler' or something like that?
 
#4
Puffing Billy. That's the f*cker.


Lethal bit of kit. Not one bloke in the Troop knew how to use it properly and they came with no field manual. It was just one of those bits of kit that's use is passed down over generations by eyebrowless squaddies...

Cheers. :D
 
#5
yeah, puffing billy is the one, or heater, immersion, petrol (I think)

we've all done this I think,or known someone who has:

when on second to last stag, just before you get relieved start it dripping real, real slow. just as you're gettin in your dossbag, last stag comes on to light it to get the water warm for reveille....

WOOOOMPH fcuk shiit ow ow ow
 
#6
We used to call it the 'water mortar'. And you're right -- if the doughnut mechanics got the mix wrong it would sent the top section of stovepipe about 100ft into the air.

I was standing in an 'indecision' of officers outside the cooks tent which received a direct hit with a smoking projectile courtesy of the salad burners.
 
#7
cdn_spr said:
yeah, puffing billy is the one, or heater, immersion, petrol (I think)

we've all done this I think,or known someone who has:

when on second to last stag, just before you get relieved start it dripping real, real slow. just as you're gettin in your dossbag, last stag comes on to light it to get the water warm for reveille....

WOOOOMPH fcuk shiit ow ow ow
That's EXACTLY what happened to my mate. The bloke who relieved him forgot to tell him he'd started dripping the petrol and my mucker dropped in the match after opening the valve.


Whhhhhhooooosh BOOM! Arghhhhhh!


I have tears rolling down my cheeks now remembering him trying to put his hair out with a BATCO wallet.

:D
 
#8
LBdr_Pigshagger said:
Chaps and Chapesses,

Need some help here. I've just been having a chat with a mate about the time he blew off all his eyebrows and hair in Bosnia and neither of us can remember what the thing was he did it with.

Basically, it's a big dustbin that you fill with water, then you turn on a tap that drips petrol into a reservoir about the size of a tin of compo Bacon Grill, you light the petrol and it heats the water so you can have a wash and shave in the field.

It was all in the timing. Get it right and half an hour later you had a lovely warm wash and scrape, get it wrong and you damn near blew your head off, as my mate did.

Laugh? I nearly passed my fags around... :D He looked like a startled Al Jolson

Anyone remember what it was called? Was it a 'Burco Boiler' or something like that?
We used to refer to these as "BENGHAZI BURNERS" which is historically inaccurate as the authentic one used sand+petrol.A "Burco Boiler" is electric.They are still in use with all their comedy possibilties.I saw a "Startled Al Jolson" in the last few months :lol:
 
#9
It warms my heart to know that these things are still in service today and that eyebrows are being lost all over the world.



:D
 
#11
I seem to remember that those old field burner cooking things were also f*** lethal. The ones you had to partially dig down, it was like a long metal frame thing that had what seemed like a flamethrower at one end.


We called the water heaters 'puffing billy' too.
 
#12
tattybadger said:
Apparently we'll be selling them on to the canadians next year!
You sure they didn't come from the Canadians?

"Immersion heater" comes to mind
 
#14
seen a photo of them in a book about d-day .
never saw any drama with them when I was a stab but we did have a cook who'd joined up in the 40s
 
#15
cdo_gunner said:
I seem to remember that those old field burner cooking things were also f*** lethal. The ones you had to partially dig down, it was like a long metal frame thing that had what seemed like a flamethrower at one end.


We called the water heaters 'puffing billy' too.
Is that one not the dreaded "Hydroburner"?
 
#16
The "Puffing Billy" or M67 Imersion heater to give it is tech name(asked a ration assasin), was apparently bought from the Yanks. It is the second mosted lethal item used by chefs the first being a cook book!
 
#17
cdo_gunner said:
I seem to remember that those old field burner cooking things were also f*** lethal. The ones you had to partially dig down, it was like a long metal frame thing that had what seemed like a flamethrower at one end.


We called the water heaters 'puffing billy' too.
do you mean the No1 burner, or {flamethrower,ACC destroyer use of :wink: pump the air pressure up to about 120psi light and hope, the air jet was working properly 8O
 
#20
discodan said:
Never seen this bit of kit EVER!!! would have loved to have had a wash and scrape with even warm water... oh to be infantry.....
Do they discourage personal hygeine in your lot then?
 

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