Britannia: The 2,000-year old mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Britain has finally been solved. The 6,000 or so legionnaires have been located alive and well in Whitley Bay.
The Roman Legion, commanded by Quintus Petillius Cerialis, went missing in about 61AD and historians assumed it had been destroyed by Queen Boudica (Boudacea) of the Britons near Hadrian's Wall.
"Naw", said Centurion Marcus Septimus, chewing on a kebab at Brunos Italian Restaurant on the Coastal Road. "We wez heor all aloong", he added in his recently acquired Geordie accent.
The discovery was made by an American couple who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Frank Dollermeier had been part of the American Airborne Infantry during World War 2, and he met future wife Betty at the same restaurant.
"We decided to celebrate our anniversary by going back to the place we met. We never expected to meet 6,000 battle-weary Roman soldiers at the next table, all in splendidly polished scale armour and carrying a gladius [sword] and scutum [shield]. Once they knew why we had come, they were very friendly, singing Pavarotti songs and offering us pizza recipes. We had a great time talking about the wars we had fought throughout Europe."
General Cerialis described the attack by Queen Boudica:
"Sheh wez reet narked so wi cyame heor" (she was really angry so we fled here).
The General said that he and his men had survived on the excellent food available at several good restaurants along the Coast Road, sometimes even working in the kitchens for extra pay. He explained their longevity was due to the rich olive oil served at the Italian eateries they visited.