Born in 1880 at Woodford, son of Thomas (Labourer) and Elizabeth Tomblin. 1881: With his parents at 10 Chase Road, Grove Road, South Woodford. 1911. A Postman living with his wife Ellen Mary Tomblin at 3 Myrtle Cottages (later 99), Princes Road, Buckhurst Hill. His service number shows he was serving with the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Essex Regiment from 1914, and other records suggest he enlisted at Stratford.
On 16th April 1915 1 Essex arrived at Murdos and began training in rope ladder disembarkation procedures. During the evening of 24th April they sailed for Cape Helles, arriving just before dawn on 25th April, the day of the Allied landings at Gallipoli. All seemed quiet onshore when the men got up at 04.00. A bombardment began at 05.00 and landings commenced at 05.30. 1 Essex were ordered to support the Lancashire Fusiliers and landed on “W” Beach, having waded through waste deep water.
“W” Beach had effective defences put in place by the Turks who, when the British bombardment ceased began pouring machine gun and rifle fire on to the beaches below. 1 Essex managed to move inland capturing Hill 138 and vicinity with 4 Worcesters by about 14.15. Although casualties were incurred, they were negligible compared to those among the Dublin and Munster Fusiliers landing on “V” Beach. For 1 Essex it had been a successful day.
However, among the 33 men lost was Woodford Postman Thomas Henry Tomblin. He and 31 others are commemorated on the Helles Memorial. Only “A” Company Commander Captain Basil Ward has a marked grave in Lancashire Landing Cemetery.
Thomas Tomblin is also remembered at St John’s Church Buckhurst Hill.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian