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Known as a speedway burner or (Chuffer) this unit is used to boil water for ablutions or kitchens and was in service with the New Zealand Army in the 1980 and 90s.

I have no information on this unit apart from the following:

Unit main body is dug into the ground up to half the units height.

Fuel tank is filled with 60 % diesel and 40 % kerosene and fits to main body via a flat iron spigot

Spigot also hold a conical hat with a hole in the centre for fuel pipe to go through, hat prevents rain water going into fuel combustion chamber

A 20 litre Stainless steel bucket is filled with water and placed in the large hole in the main body

stove pipes are fitted opposite the fuel chamber and reach to approximately 2 metres in height, may also have conical cover fitted for bad weather.

To light unit, tie a rag on to a piece of wire and soak with fuel, light it and hang it in the top of the chimney, light a second one and place it down the combustion chamber

Open filler cap or vent bung on top of fuel tank, ensure copper fuel pipe id directed over splash plate in combustion chamber.

Open fuel tap until fuel drizzles onto flaming rag, withdraw rag when flame is self sustaining, reduce fuel until a dripping is enough to keep unit in operation

When water is boiling or hot enough for use, ladel water out of bucket, do not remove bucket from main body, top up bucket as water is taken out and this will maintain heat well enough while fuel is burning.

To extinguish burner, turn fuel tap off, close vent bung or lid and remove fuel tank. Fire will continue to burn in main body until used up


Do not look down combustion chamber when lighting unit (eye brows go missing)

Do not leave fuel tank on unit when not in use, any fuel leak will fill main body with fuel and fumes (and when lit will launch water bucket skywards)

Do not use petrol as a fuel as it is too hot

Do not remove bucket and carry it around as it will be covered in soot, use a ladel to remove and refill water

Clean all components weekly to remove soot layer and make unit more efficient

Ensure lid is kept on water bucket to prevent fuel, dust and soot getting in the water

Stove pipes and main body will be hot!


Questions I have are:

Does anyone know where these units were made

Are they British or US design

Who else used them

Does anyone have any parts for them , stove pipes, buckets, lids, caps, fuel tanks

Burner with fuel ignited.JPG

Main body and removable water bucket.JPG

Main body with new fuel tank fitted.JPG

speedway burner main body.JPG

Speedway burner stock number.JPG

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The NZ Army in Libya WW2 used a similar device, the 'Thermette'. Google and ye shall see.

The British Army has never, to my knowledge of them in Libya, ever had anything so 'sophisticated' though I'd be very happy to be otherwise verifiably informed. Improvisation seemed to be the game even when other means of boiling a billy (mess tin too) were available; nominally any small-medium sized metal drum or box, sometimes intentionally perforated, was dug a little way into the sand and then half-filled with sand and petrol (too hot!) or vehicle/gun oil (just right) and, this was the BENGHAZI BURNER. Even in the 1960s. Very useful in sandy climes but not recommended on heathland or in the woods.

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11 hours ago, Tony B said:

Britsh army called thier version the Bengazi.

Thanks for that, but this is a totally different beastie

11 hours ago, Tony B said:

Britsh army called thier version the Bengazi.


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