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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: Bonhams/BNPS<br />
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Orders, Decorations and Medals awarded to Dr John Ball included  an O.B.E and he was awarded the Victoria gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society for contributions to scientific geography in 1926.<br />
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An unlikely hero of the forerunner of the SAS can be revealed after his fascinating archive sold for over £14,000.<br />
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Dr John Ball was an eminent geologist whose maps and knowledge of North Africa guided the legendary Long Range Desert Group.<br />
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They were Britain's first ever special forces unit, carrying out clandestine operations deep behind enemy lines in the North African campaign in World War Two.<br />
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But they were deeply indebted to Dr Ball and the reconnaissance surveys he made of the peninsula in the preceding decades.