Thomas Tombleson, who was from Downham in Norfolk, joined H.M.S. Victory in May 1803, aged 22 years, and is confirmed on both published Naval General Service Medal rolls as being present in her as Carpenter's Crew at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21.10.1805:
'The story of the great fight needs no telling here. On the firing ceasing, the Victory was found to have lost 57 killed and 103 wounded, and was herself all but a wreck. The tremendous fire to which she had been exposed when leading her line into action had caused great damage at a very early period of the Battle and before she herself fired a gun, many of her spars were shot away, and great injury had been done to her hull, especially the fore part. At the conclusion of the action she had lost her mizen-mast, the fore-topmast had to be struck to save the foremast, the main-mast was not much better, while her figure-head had been struck by shot and part of it carried away. Her sails were badly wounded, and it took all the exertions of her crew to refit the rigging sufficiently to stand the bad weather that followed. Her trophy, the French 74 Redoubtable, was one of those that sank after the action in deep water, and in her, as in many other vessels lost, went down her Prize Crew of gallant British seamen. On the 3 November the Victory sailed from Gibraltar on the melancholy but proud duty of conveying the body of the dead hero to England. She reached Spithead on 4 December, and Sheerness on the 22nd, where Nelson's body was removed to a yacht for conveyance to Greenwich and St. Paul's. During the ceremony of removing his remains, the hero's flag, which had flown half-mast ever since the action, was lowered for the last time'.