HUNDREDS of mourners bowed their heads as the bodies of six soldiers passed through Oxford today.

As darkness fell, a small corner of the city fell silent, rush hour traffic slowed and a sea of umbrellas huddled to honour the fallen men — five of whom were shot by a “rogue” Afghan policeman.

Warrant Officer Darren Chant, Sgt Matthew Telford, Guardsman James Major, all of the Ist Battalion Grenadier Guards, and Cpl Steven Boote and Cpl Nicholas Webster-Smith, both of the Royal Military Police, were killed last Tuesday in the Nad Ali district of Helmand, Afghanistan.

Two days later Serjeant Phillip Scott, 30, of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died in a blast.

Members of the Royal British Legion dipped their flags as the six coffins passed along Headley Way on the final leg of their journey from RAF Lyneham to John Radcliffe Hospital, where their post mortem examinations will be carried out.

Malcolm Binns, 48, from Yarnton, left the Army six years ago and left work early to pay his respects to his friend of 14 years and former colleague WO Darren Chant.

The former Grenadier Guard, who served for 23 years, said: “I was devastated when the news broke and then devastated 18 hours later when I knew it was a friend of mine.

“I felt humbled and emotional when I saw the coffin, I thought it’s such a waste of a life. It’s time we left Afghanistan, it’s time they came home.

“But at least he is home now, it’s some kind of closure, until next time.”

Twins Ashley and Elliott Harwood, from Fringford, also attended.

Ashley, 16, said: “I came just to pay my respects to the people who died.

“I felt very sad to see them come home. It’s the first time we’ve been, I don’t really know why we came, perhaps it was because there were so many.”

Danielle Revill, 29, from Bicester stopped off after visiting her mother in Marston.

She said: “I just wanted to come down and pay my respects.”

Oxfordshire Royal Brit-ish Legion vice-chairman Jim Lewendon said: “I think we had about 500 people out. We had more public interest this time bec-ause there was so many.

“More of the general public turned out. I think a lot of people are now questioning why we are in Afghanistan. I’m pretty sick of it to be honest.”