A Wonderful Nuisance

My sister and her husband have been vacationing in South Africa in Cape Town. She wrote the following email to the family.

We went to Cape of Good Hope yesterday, which is quite stunning and also gave me the opportunity to express many good hopes for people I love, which I did. I will say the most fun thing was finding out about Just Nuisance, who was a great Dane in Simon’s Town (close by Cape of Good Hope) in late 1930s.

His owner managed a hostel for sailors and Nuisance loved them and followed them everywhere, even catching the train to Cape Town with them. He insisted on lying over three seats and the railway authorities threatened to bar him from the train so in 1939 the Officer Commanding the South African Squadron allowed Nuisance to join the Royal Navy. He had his own sailor’s cap and a free railway pass. He was given the rank of Able Seaman and was quartered on HMS Afrikander and had his own bunk.

Nuisance also had a bed in the Union Jack Club in Cape Town. He was no angel, however: among his transgressions was resisting eviction from pubs at closing time. Sadly, in 1944 he became ill and died. He was buried with full military honors and a naval signal was sent to every naval ship and establishment worldwide (never mind those pesky battles going on).

Just Nuisance, only dog to be enlisted in the Royal Navy.

[Image courtesy of Wikipedia.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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