“The Spirit of Just Nuisance”


The legendary Great Dane, known to thousands of Royal Naval Sailors and residents of Cape Town as “JUST NUISANCE” was enlisted into the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman in 1939. He was issued with his own Sailor’s cap and a special collar (on display in the Museum) was made for him in the Royal Navy Dockyard.

He was billeted at HMS AFRIKANDER (now the Cape Times Fresh Air Camp at Froggy Pond) where he had his own bunk and a sailor was detailed to take charge of him ensuring that he was fed, bathed and brushed. He also had a bed at the Union Jack Club in Cape Town.

From the time he joined the Royal Navy, Just Nuisance’s love for sailors – he had no time for officers or women – as well as his numerous and varied activities began to make news wherever he went. He became a celebrity almost overnight. One activity, for which he was really well known, was following the sailors on the train to Cape Town where he frequented various clubs, pubs, dances, concerts, etc., until it was time for the last train to depart for Simon’s Town from Cape Town station. He would round up all the sailors, some of whom were by that time rather “tired”, and ensure that they safely boarded the train. An hour later, as the train pulled into Simon’s Town station Nuisance would leap up from his comfortable seat and make sure that every sailor disembarked and in some instances even escorted them back to their barracks.

He was born on the 1st April 1937 and died in the Royal Naval Hospital in Simon’s Town on the 1st April 1944. He was buried with full military honours at the Signal School on Red Hill, Simon’s Town. His grave is tended by the HMS Ganges Association and is open to the public.

Simon’s Town Museum has a display depicting his life and activities and regular Just Nuisance slide shows are presented to adults, particularly British tourists many of whom remember him from when their ships visited Simon’s Town during WWII, and also to children.

In 1994 Simon’s Town Museum held the first JUST NUISANCE DAY to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the death of this almost human canine. The commemoration day is held every year since, to celebrate Just Nuisance.






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