Exactly a century ago, one of the bloodiest battles in human history began in northern France.

Launched on July 1, the Battle of the Somme saw forces from the British and French Empires face off against Germany. Known as the ‘Big Push,’ Allied forces -- including scores of soldiers from Canada and Newfoundland -- left their trenches and stormed German positions in the hopes of breaking through enemy lines.

It was a deadly miscalculation.

More than 1.2 million men from both sides were killed or wounded in the bloody 141-day campaign. The mission, an utter failure, was also the largest battle on the Western Front during the First World War.

More than 26,000 soldiers from Canada and Newfoundland lost their lives.

Today, near the French village of Miraumont, a delegation of Canadian students, veterans and parliamentarians remembered the fallen.

Fifteen-year old Lukus Oram-Feltham was one of them, travelling all the way from the small town of Gambo, N.L., to mark the battle’s 100th anniversary.

“It is very emotional… for me to walk upon the graves of the people who once died for the peace in our country,” Oram-Feltham told CTV News.

With a report from CTV’s Melanie Nagy in Miraumont, France