Congratulations on your gift! Isn't that a wonderfully made item. It was issued to all medical, veterinary and dental officers, and was in the medical chest #1 and the medical pack B. It was used in conjunction with the hypodermic syringe set. It had two purposes;
1. To prepare medication for injection. A tablet for injection, for example atropine, was dissolved in the proper amount of water and sterilized by boiling. When cool the proper amount was drawn up by the syringe for injection. A lot of math to get the right dose, and so, so slow. I have done this and it really takes a long time to prepare an injection in the desired dose.
2. The used needle was cleaned, then re-sterilized by boiling in plain water.
The way the syringe kit is engeneered, there is no need to touch the needle throughout the entire procedure, and the syringe itself is not resterilized as it never comes incontact with the patient. Not in keeping with todays thinking, but very proper by 1940's standards. Methyl alcohol, alcohol stove fuel or shellac thinner is the proper fuel for the burner.