SCORES of ex-servicemen representing the Royal British Legion, Royal Marines Association and Royal Naval Association gathered outside the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford today to meet the cortege of five soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Mary Clarkson, also attended for the first time.

The bodies of Lance Corporal David Dennis, 29, from Wales, of the Light Dragoons, Private Robert Laws, 18, from Worcestershire, of the Mercian Regiment, Lance Corporal Dane Elson, 22, from Wales, of the Welsh Guards, Captain Ben Babington-Browne, 27, from Kent, of the Royal Engineers, and Trooper Christopher Whiteside, 20, of The Light Dragoons, from Blackpool, were all repatriated today and brought to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Jim Lewendon, vice-chairman of the Oxfordshire branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “We had over 200 people, ordinary people and ex-servicemen.

“It was a very good showing and very important.”

The number of UK soldiers killed in the country since 2001 is 178.