Every year I lay a wreath a week early, because Blyth, my nearest town, was a submarine port. Submariners were banned from the first Armistice Day parade in Whitehall by a bossy admiral on the grounds that they were pirates who targeted civilians. In response they adopted skull-and-crossbones badges and arranged their own celebrations on the Embankment in London, and in Blyth and Dundee, a week before the official ones.
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