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I read with interest your article in the March issue regarding animals that have been awarded medals, in particular the Dickin Medal (Q&A, p73). It brought to mind a story told to me by one of World War II’s true heroes, former signalman Bob McGill. Bob was serving in the Royal Navy and had an encounter with Able Seaman Just Nuisance, the only dog to be officially enlisted in the South African Navy.

Just Nuisance was known to stow away on various vessels. The authorities in Simon’s Town radioed Bob’s ship to enquire as to the whereabouts of the missing Just Nuisance. Bob’s captain asked him “Do we have an Able Seaman Nuisance on board?” Bob pointed to a large Great Dane lying next to him. Bob’s ship had to about turn and it was Bob’s duty to take the dog down the gangplank and back to its home.

Just Nuisance died in sad circumstance and was awarded a full military funeral. He now has legendary status and there is a statue to him in Simon’s Town.

Bill Turner,

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

In this month’s issue… Henry VIII’s Six Weddings While every detail of Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle has been anticipated and analysed, the nuptials of his Tudor namesake Henry VIII are less familiar. Alison Weir peers behind the drapes of the six days that preceded ‘divorced, beheaded, died…’. Plus: the CIA heist of a sunken Soviet nuclear sub during the Cold War; Wounded Knee massacre; female Pharaohs; the 1820 plot to murder the Cabinet; and Lee Miller’s photos of WWII