Prince charles
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the International Service held at the Canakkale Turkish Martyrs' Memorial Abide on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeyTristan Fewings/Getty Images

The Prince of Wales paid homage to the thousands of men who lost their lives in Gallipoli a hundred years ago today (24 April).

Prince Charles led the largest ever commemoration of dignitaries, featuring Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and families of those who were killed in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles.

The royal honoured the men's "heroism" and "humanity" in what turned out to be one of the war's crashing defeats against the Ottoman Empire. Around 131,000 men lost their lives, 44,000 Allied soldiers, including 10,000 from Australia and New Zealand and at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers died defending their homeland.

Gallipoli
A photograph of a British soldier killed in the Gallipoli campaign hangs next to a commemorative poppy among names of fallen soldiers at the Helles Memorial, which commemorates Commonwealth soldiers killed in the campaign, prior to one of the main commemorative ceremonies on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeySean Gallup/Getty Images

During the commemorations, Charles also met the 15 descendants of the Gallipoli troops on HMS Bulwark, the Royal Navy flagship, alongside Prince Harry before it is deployed to help in the migrant search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean.

"The 100th anniversary is a very important moment because we're at a time now where this campaign ceases to be about memory and slides into history," Bruce Scates, chairman of history and Australian studies at Melbourne's Monash University, told the Telegraph.

Prince of Wales meets decendants
Prince of Wales meets decendants of the Gallipoli campaign on HMS Bulwark on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeyTristan Fewings/Getty Images

"All of the veterans have died, those with any living memory of the Great War have gone," said Scates, the grandson of a Gallipoli veteran who helped the centenary commemorations.

Gallipoli 100th anniversary
This digital image shows British troops of the IX Corps on the beach after landing at Suvla Bay on the Aegean coast of the Gallipoli peninsula, August 1915.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The ceremony was part of a series of centenary events being held in remembrance of the Gallipoli Campaign. It was Winston Churchill's plan to create a new war front to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople – now Istanbul. But the allies failed in their naval and land campaign to secure the sea route to the Ottoman Empire as Ottoman soldiers fought back, which was later hailed as of the empire's greatest victories.

Charles and Prince Harry will later visit the Helles Memorial to attend the Commonwealth and Ireland memorial service, and finally the French memorial service at Morto Bay.

Turkish soldiers
Members of the British Army 5th Fusiliers walk past a Turkish soldier as well as the names of Commonwealth soldiers killed during the Gallipoli campaign at the Helles Memorial prior to one of the main commemorative ceremonies on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeySean Gallup/Getty Images

On Anzac (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day, which commemorates the withdrawal of the allied invasion, Charles will give a reading and lay a wreath at a service on the peninsula. Harry will later give a reading during a memorial service at Lone Pine.

Princess Anne will attend the annual dawn service at Hyde Park Corner in London where there will be a laying of wreaths at the New Zealand and Australian war memorials.

prince harry
Prince Harry looks at the names of Commonwealth soldiers killed during the Gallipoli campaign at the Helles Memorial prior to one of the main commemorative ceremonies on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeySean Gallup/Getty Images

The Gallipoli Association, whose members include descendants of Gallipoli sailors, will hold a short service at London's St Paul's Cathedral, which will be attended by its patron, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Cambridge will lay wreaths at a national commemoration event at the Cenotaph to mark Anzac Day followed by a march-past of thousands of descendants of British, Australian and New Zealand Gallipoli veterans.

There will then be a service of commemoration and thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

Prince Charles and Prince Harry
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry attend a reception on HMS Bulwark where they met Commanding Officer Captain Nick Cooke-Priest and decendants of the Gallipoli campaign on April 24, 2015Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
Gallipoli 100th anniversary
Mounted Turkish gendarmes ride horses past the Helles Memorial, which commemorates Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Gallipoli campaign, prior to one of the main commemorative ceremonies on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeyPhoto by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
gallipoli
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets crew members on HMS Bulwark at a reception for decendants of the Gallipoli campaign on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeyTristan Fewings/Getty Image
Gallipoli 100th anniversary
Turkish soldiers rehearse laying a wreath at the Helles Memorial, which commemorates Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Gallipoli campaign, prior to one of the main commemorative ceremonies on April 24, 2015 in Seddulbahir, TurkeySean Gallup/Getty Images