Revised: June 11, 2000.

James (Jim) Fletcher Wiles was born in 1883 and served in the Army in the South African Campaign at the age of 17. He was awarded the South African medal with three clasps, one of the few survivors of the Woolmarannarust disaster.

As a young soldier Jim observed that there was an urgent need for catering equipment for the front line troops. Being one of the youngest in the Regiment he spent a lot of time in the cooking of meals and he conceived the idea of a mobile steam cooker, instinctively realizing that steaming vegetables was much better than boiling them.This was later to be confirmed by the C.S.I.R.O. during the early staged of WW2. The first cooker was made and used in World War One.

James Fletcher Wiles
1883- 1939

James Fletcher Wiles died in 1939, but his sons continued to update and redesign their father’s Cooker. After a long struggle with the Government Bureaucracy, they made over 3000 units that were used by all branches of the Armed forces in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Briton.

On the right is the original
World War One (1914-1918)

The Senior Cooker (WW2)

Junior Cooker (WW2)

The Stationary Unit

Six Junior Units, ready for dispatch

Train load of Senior Mobile Cookers ready for war.

They were finally phased out in 1983.

A more detailed story of the introduction of this unique unit is available by
clicking here.
This page was compiled and edited from family and official records
by James Wiles' nephew, Hugh Williams
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