From Remuera, Thomas Grey Culling was the only son of Thomas S. and Fanny Culling. He was educated at King's College before traveling to England to enlist in the Royal Naval Air Service. He was promoted to temporary Flight Sub-Lieutenant (on probation) on 29 January 1916. He received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3258 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Chingford on 13 July 1916. With 1 Naval Squadron in the spring of 1917, after being promoted to temporary Flight Lieutenant on 1 April, Culling scored six victories flying the Sopwith Triplane in France.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flt. Lieut. Edward J. Cooper, R.N.A.S.
Flt. Sub-Lieut. Charles Reginald Morrish, R.N.A.S.
Flt. Sub-Lieut. Henry George Boswell, R.N.A.S.
Flt. Lieut. Charles Langston Scott, R.N.A.S.
Flt. Lieut. Walter Travers Swire Williams, R.N.A.S.
Flt. Lieut. Thomas Grey Culling, R.N.A.S.
In recognition of his services on the 23rd April, 1917, when with two other machines he engaged a formation of nine hostile scouts and two-seater machines. Two two-seater machines were shot down, one of them by Flt. Lieut. Culling unassisted.