Just Nuisance

by Rod Smith

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My childhood is peppered with my father’s stories of Just Nuisance, a beloved dog in the navy in and around Cape Town during the Second World War. This morning, on reaching for a seldom-read reference book on my book self, a Christmas card fell to the floor. The frayed card, bearing a roughly cut picture of the dog lounging on a leather couch reads:

“The navy’s famous mascot takes the last train home. Able Seaman Just Nuisance joins Able Seaman E. W. G. Smith (my father) in wishing you the most hopeful of war-time Christmasses and a victorious return to peace in the New Year, Christmas 1941, New Year 1942.”

I would enjoy readers’ insights and stories of this beloved dog even if you are passing them on second or third hand. I look forward to your emails.

One Comment to “Just Nuisance”

  1. Dear Rod,

    I was interested in your story about Just Nuisance. My father was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and loved to tell of seeing the dog on the train at Simonstown. He gave me the book about Just Nuisance written by Leslie M. Steyn and, since my Dad’s death, we have made pilgrimages to Simonstown to see the statue. My Dad served in Ceylon and was sent back to Simonstown on the SS California – he said the Americans were so kind to the seamen. My mother took the long train journey from the Reef to meet Dad and they spent a happy time staying in a small hotel at Fish Hoek.

    My mother died last July – she was a month short of 93. When she was 89 she took a week’s holiday with me to Cape Town. We, of course, made the pilgrimage to Simonstown including Just Nuisance’s statue. She, a usually pragmatic and sensible person, become overcome with the emotion of the memories of my Dad, his stories about the Navy and of course about the dog.

    Thank you for bringing back some nostalgia for me. You must have fond memories of your Dad too – perhaps he and my Dad met each other. Who knows?

    Best wishes,

    Gillian B

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