Lieutenant - Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves - HMS Penelope
Leslie Arthur Tulk was born on 16th June 1920 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Arthur Lemon Tulk, a Tailor and Outfitter with a shop in King’s Street, and his mother was Anna Elizabeth Grace (née Nash). Leslie was their only child. The first school that he attended was Cliffe House School in Gravesend.
In 1928 Leslie Tulk joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Leslie’s address as 110 Pelham Road, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Leslie was in Cliff House.
In 1937 Leslie left the School and started work at Harrod’s as a Salesman. He inherited the running of A Tulk and Sons, Tailors and Outfitters in Kings Street, after his father’s death, in April 1940, the 4th generation of the family to run the business.
He had enlisted in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves before World Wat Two broke out, as an Able Seaman, serving first on HMS Veteran, which sunk, then was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant on HMS Manchester.
Joining HMS Penelope as a Lieutenant, Leslie Tulk was Mentioned in Despatches as Gunnery Officer for courage and devotion to duty on HMS Penelope in the Mediterranean at Malta.
HMS Penelope was torpedoed as she was leaving Naples to return to the Anzio area by U-Boat, U-410 and sank on 18th February 1944. 415 crew were killed, 206 survived. Leslie Tulk died age 24. He is remembered at Naples War Cemetery, Italy.
Leslie Tulk was in the same Form as William Fissenden, who was also Killed in Action in World War Two.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: