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Just Nuisance Memorial

Just Nuisance Memorial

Visitors to Simonstown in the Western Cape of South Africa may be surprised to see an impressive statue of a dog near the Simonstown Naval Base. This is the Just Nuisance Memorial, a memorial dedicated to a member of the Royal Navy - Able Seaman Just Nuisance. Just Nuisance was a Great Dane that was born in Rondebosch, Cape Town around 1 April 1937. The pup was bought by Benjamin Chaney before he moved to Simonstown to run the USI (United Services Institute). Sailors from the Royal Navy would often visit the USI and quickly took to the dog offering him treats, taking him for walks and giving him plenty of attention. He began to follow them back to the naval base and dockyards, where he would lie on the decks of ships that were moored up in dock, normally at the top of the gangplanks. Since he was a large dog even for a Great Dane (almost 2 metres tall when standing on his hind legs) he presented a sizeable obstacle for those trying to board or disembark and he became affectionately known as Nuisance. That is how he got the name Just Nuisance.

Just Nuisance was allowed to roam freely by his owner and he began to take day trips by train as far afield as Cape Town, 35 km away. Despite the seamens attempts to hide him, the conductors would have him removed from the trains as soon as he was discovered. This did was not a problems for him, as he would wait for the next train or walk to another station where he would board the next train that came along. Travellers would occasionally offer to pay his fares, but the railway company eventually warned his owner, Chaney, that Nuisance would have to be put down unless he was kept under control to prevent him boarding the trains.

This brings about the unique solution to the problem, which saw Just Nuisance enlisted into the Royal Navy on 25 August 1939. He was registered with the Christian name of Just and his trade was Bone Crusher. As a full fledged member of the Navy Just Nuisance received the same benefits including a sailors bed and seamans hat. He was later promoted from Ordinary Seaman to Able Seaman and did much good for the morale of the Royal Navy seamen. He was also commended for stopping fights between men and assisting drunk sailors back to the base.

Unfortunately, Just Nuisance was involved in a car accident which ultimately resulted in paralysis. Due to this he was discharged from the Royal Navy on 1 January 1944 and on 1 April of that same year Just Nuisance was taken to the Simons Town Naval Hospital and put down. Able Seaman Just Nuisance was laid to rest at Klaver Camp with the full military honors and a firing party from the Royal Marines.

Its not the story of a dog, but rather, the legend of Just Nuisance that survives to this day and will continue to touch the hearts of many for decades to come. A statue of the Able Seaman was erected at Jubilee Square in Simonstown as a memorial to this unique member of the Royal Navy.

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