Pleasant “Just a Interference”, its merits and achievements (8 photos)

21 June 2024

Some are so eager to serve in the Navy that they achieve enlistment without filling out a single paperwork or even speaking a single word. Exclusively with desire and spiritual impulse.

On the banks of Simon's Town, south of Cape Town, stands a sculpture of a noble and distinguished dog. His name was Just Nuisance. This Great Dane remains the only dog ​​ever officially in service with the British Royal Navy.

His unusual story began in 1937, when the puppy was born in the suburbs of Cape Town. It was bought by Benjamin Cheney, who moved south to nearby Simon's Town, a major naval base for the British Royal Navy.

He turned out to be a sociable dog and was loved by the sailors. They took him with them on walks. The four-legged friend never lacked treats, including pies and cookies. Partly thanks to such a nutritious diet, the dog grew to impressive dimensions even for its breed: the height of the dog, standing on its hind legs, reached two meters.

He followed the sailors around the city and became a regular visitor to the naval base and shipyards. One of his favorite places to relax was the top gangway of HMS Neptune. Of course, the overall size of the carcass presented some obstacle. And the sailors jokingly but lovingly called him Interference.

When they had free time, they often took the train to Cape Town, 35 kilometers to the north.

The dog, naturally, wanted to go with them. But the ticket takers and controllers had a different opinion on this matter. The sailors tried to hide the animal, but it was often dropped off at the next station. Quite quickly, the dog learned to return to Simon's Town on foot or, if he was too lazy to do this, he took the next train to Cape Town and again tested his fate, as well as the nerves of the railway workers.

As a result, they got tired of the dog’s tricks, and the owner began to receive letters of complaints in which he was asked to lock up Nuysens. Otherwise, he will simply be caught and euthanized.

The sailors, having learned about the terrible threats, turned to their superiors. Soon the desk of the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy was strewn with letters from concerned subordinates from South Africa, worried about the fate of a faithful comrade. Perhaps concerned about morality, or perhaps simply because he was a lover of four-legged friends, the Commander-in-Chief took a creative approach to solving the problem and enlisted the dog into the Royal Navy. As a military serviceman, he received the right to free travel.

The Great Dane began service on 25 August 1939, becoming the first and only dog ​​ever to enter service with the Royal Navy.

He was registered under the surname Nuisance and the name Just. His profession was listed as "Bone Crusher" and his religion was listed as "League of Canine Divinity".

He passed the necessary medical examination. And then he “signed” the papers with the imprint of his paw pads and was ready to perform his duties. Newisens never had the chance to go to sea, but he served in various other equally significant positions. He continued to ride with the sailors on the train to Cape Town and accompanied them home when they had too much foam.

When fights broke out between the guys, the Great Dane quickly broke up the quarrels, standing on his hind legs and resting his giant paws on the bullies’ chests, pushing them away from each other. He also became a morale-boosting mascot for sailors based in Simon's Town and often appeared in parades wearing his sailor's hat.

The tailed sailor did not have an impeccable track record. His conduct sheet, which is now kept in the city museum, records three offenses: traveling on the railroad without a pass, refusing to leave the Sailors' and Soldiers' Home, and sleeping on a bed in the sergeant-major's dormitory (for the latter, he was officially deboned for a week). He was also punished for fighting with the mascots of other Royal Navy ships.

However, the command considered him worthy of promotion, and Just Newisens was promoted one step, receiving the right to naval rations. Later, in 1944, he was discharged from the Royal Navy and HMS Afrikander (where he was officially serving) after an accident in which a dog was diagnosed with thrombosis. As a result, the Royal Navy had no choice but to euthanize the sailor.

On April 1, 1944, when Newisens was seven years old, he was taken to Simon's Town Naval Hospital and euthanized. The next day, a funeral was held with full military honors at Camp Claver on top of Red Hill. His burial has survived to this day. And later a statue was erected in Jubilee Square in Simon's Town in memory of the worthy sailor. And Interference carefully examines the coastline, continuing to maintain its permanent watch.

The city museum has an exhibition dedicated to the history of the tailed sailor, and since 2000, a Great Dane parade has been held annually, from which Interference's double is selected.

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