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One of two 1945 dated annotated maps of Hong Kong (detail shown) which sold along with a group of other military maps for £3700 at Peter Wilson.

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So which one was key? Chris Large from the Nantwich, Cheshire, firm believes it was down to two 1945 dated annotated maps of Hong Kong (detail shown above) with the name Captain Owen noted alongside. The Siam item was a silk escape map and those of the Middle East dated from 2002.

The maps, estimated at just £30-50 at the sale on January 30, were being sold on behalf of The Royal Marines Reserve Merseyside in aid of buying a defibrillator and went to the London trade through a phone bid.