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POW Camp Cooker

This is a hand cranked air blower used for heating up food and ‘boiling the billy’ in a POW camp during World War II.

According to the article ‘Cooking Behind Barbed Wire: The Evolution of Prison Camp Cookers’ these gadgets were made from the bits and pieces they found in their camps and there were many different modifications. With a shortage of fuel and a desire to heat up the tin meat in the Red Cross parcels they became an important piece of kit. ‘Blower’ races were also popular in some camps who competed to see who could ignite and boil the billy the quickest.