anonymous Just Nuisance article..
a small enclosure just off the main road through Simonstown
to Cape Point in South Africa, stands an outstanding statue
of a dog, but this was no ordinary dog.
was a huge pedigree Great Dane with a long official name,
bred in a Cape Town suburb and born on April the 1st. in 1937,
although given this birthday, he was no April Fool!
the early part of WW2, he found his way to Simonstown, and
the Naval Depot located there. He attached himself to the
sailors, who became very fond of him. They would take him
by train on their runs ashore to CapeTown, where, after having
his usual two pints of beer he would then keep watch on his
sailor mates, and round them up to catch the last train back
to Simonstown and the Depot. When the train had arrived, he
would go through the carriages to ensure that the sailors
all woke up and got off, it being the end of the line. Officials
from the South African Railways objected to his riding on
their trains and christened him “Just Nuisance,” and threatened
to have him impounded and then put down, if he continued to
ride on the trains.
There then followed such an out cry from the Navy, that the
Commander-in-Chief intervened on behalf of “Nuisance,” he
was granted the rate of Able Seaman, and taken on the books
of HMS Africander.
This wonderful dog died on his birthday in 1944, and his memorial
was erected in 1985, the inscription at its base reads: “Just
Nuisance A.B. Loyal friend and companion of the sailors who
called at this port during WW2. Remembered with affection.”
At his feet lies his cap, with its HMS Africander tally.
I recall seeing Nuisance on the train when I went off to CapeTown,
and woe betide any civilian who went near one of the sleeping
sailors making their return to Simonstown after a celebration
in CapeTown. Before my ship, HMAS Australia, was finally leaving
the dockyard at Simonstown, some of our crew members had somehow
smuggled Nuisance on board, to hide him below decks. How they
managed to get him past the Officer of Watch on the gangway,
I do not know. Maybe he did a Nelson at that stage, and turned
a blind eye at the crucial moment, because Nuisance was a
huge animal. We had cleared False Bay, and just cast off our
last tug, when Nuisance made his appearance on the upper deck.
The Commander sighted him, and was furious, there was no way
we could keep him on board with his Aussie mates. An improvised
sling was hurriedly made, the tug recalled alongside, and
Nuisance was unceremoniously hoisted over the side, and lowered
into the tug for return to his Depot at Simonstown. The culprits
were never found!