Grave & Memorial
Atkinson Tomb
'To the Memory of
Thomas Hornby Atkinson Lieutenant of the
Royal Navy
Departed this life 25 October 1825 aged 24
Also of Thomas Atkinson Esq late first Master
Attendant HM Dockyard Portsmouth
who departed this life the 2nd day of June 1836
He was master of several of Admiral Lord Nelson's flagships
including 'Victory' at the Battle of Trafalgar
also of William George Atkinson
Lieutenant RN Grandson of the above.
Interred in Hastings Cemetery May 25th 1914
And Agnes Atkinson mother of the above
who departed this life
the 1st day of February 1826
aged 50 years

Further Information
Thomas Atkinson was no common sailor aboard HMS Victory. His role as Master meant that he was responsible for the sails, the rigging, anchors and stores as well as keeping the ship's log. Admiral Lord Nelson thought so highly of him that he declared Atkinson to be one of the best Masters in the Navy. Atkinson repaid this faith in him when, just as Victory went into battle at Trafalgar a shot took away the wheel rendering her without steering. Atkinson descended to the gun room where he rigged up ropes so that the tiller could be used once again from the deck.
Atkinson had joined the navy in 1793 as an able seaman and was promoted to Master within two years. He is recorded as being aboard HMS Theseus in 1797 and at the battle of Acre, where he was wounded, in 1799. After Trafalgar he retired to take up various duties ashore eventually retiring as First Master Attendant at Portsmouth where he died in 1836.