HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Oxford to pay tribute to four British servicemen, including three killed by a rogue Afghan soldier.

Major James Bowman, Lieutenant Neal Turkington, and Corporal Arjun Purja Pun, all of First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, were killed at their base in Helmand Province on Monday last week.

Their bodies were repatriated at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire yesterday alongside Marine Matthew Harrison, of 40 Commando, who was killed the following day.

Chapel services were held before the coffins were driven through nearby Wootton Bassett on the way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington for post mortem examinations.

More then 300 people lined Headley Way in Headington as the cortege was driven past at about 4.30pm.

Members of the Royal British Legion lined the road and dipped their standards to lead the tribute.

Jim Lewendon, vice-president of the Royal British Legion in Oxfordshire, said: “This repatriation has been very well attended and there are a lot of ex-servicemen here.”

Thames Valley Police chaplain Sarah Sharp added: “This is the second repatriation ceremony I have attended and it is a fitting tribute.

“It is amazing how many people give up their time regularly to attend.”

Father-of-three John Harris, 58, from Marston, Oxford, said: “Young men are dying and it is extremely sad.

“They are fighting to keep other people’s freedom and are making the ultimate sacrifice.”

Family mourners in Wootton Bassett laid floral tributes as the cortege paused at the town’s war memorial.

The young daughter of Cpl Pun was lifted up to place yellow roses on her father’s hearse by a relative, and her brother was comforted by their crying mother.

Maj Bowman, 34, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, known as Josh, was the most senior member of British forces to die in Afghanistan since Kirtlington’s Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed by a roadside bomb last July.

The repatriation came as UK special forces continued a massive manhunt for Talib Hussein, who is believed to have carried out the attack last week.