THE end of the Battle of the Somme will be marked by a special event in Launceston tomorrow (Friday), to give people the opportunity to reflect on those who lost their lives.

The battle began, on July 1, 1916, with the blasts of a whistle signaling the troops to leave the trenches. It soon became obvious that the Germans were well dug in and the day ended in disaster for the British troops, who perished at the hands of machine gun and rifle fire.

19,240 men lost their lives that day, but, against the odds, managed to capture three square miles of territory.

Over the next 141 days there were tremendous battles between the two lines, with the French and British troops being joined by troops from Canada and Australia to fight their common foe.

It was during then Battle of the Somme that tanks were first deployed on a battlefield.

However, the weather worsened, making battlefields impossible to fight on. By November 18, the offensive was suspended.

Despite the disastrous loses the battle was taken as a strategic victory, as the offensive hurt the German forces badly and ultimately brought the Americans into the war.

Thousands of lives were lost from both the British and allied forces, all to take seven miles of ground towards the target.

To mark the end of this conflict there will be the opportunity on Friday, November 18, at 11am at the Launceston War Memorial to reflect on all those who lost their lives in this offensive.