Edmund Trebus

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Edmund Trebus
Edmund Zygfryd Trebus.jpg
Edmund Trebus in 2002
Edmund Zygfryd Trebus

(1918-11-11)11 November 1918
Ostrowo near Danzig, German Empire
Died29 September 2002(2002-09-29) (aged 83)
Southgate, England
Known forA Life of Grime

Edmund Zygfryd Trebus (11 November 1918 – 29 September 2002)[1] was a compulsive hoarder who came to fame when he was featured on the British television documentary series A Life of Grime.[2]


Edmund Trebus was born in Ostrowo, near Danzig (Gdańsk), Germany, on 11 November 1918, the day of the Armistice.

When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 Trebus was conscripted into the Wehrmacht. He was then captured and served with the Allied forces in Italy, in an anti-tank unit of the II Corps of the Polish armed forces, which was under British command.[3]

After moving to England just after the Second World War,[4] Trebus married Jozefa Noga in 1949. They had five children. After she died his children seldom visited him.

Trebus had been a collector all his life and he was often seen pushing a handcart filled with his latest acquisitions, which he carefully sorted into separate piles in his garden and home. One of Trebus's major loves was Elvis Presley, and he managed to collect and store away a copy of almost every single record recorded by the artist.

In his eighties, living alone in a run-down house in Crouch End in North London, Trebus was constantly in trouble with the environmental health department of the London Borough of Haringey because of complaints about the rubbish surrounding his home. He lived in a tiny area on the ground floor of his house, surrounded by piles of rubbish, because he never threw anything away. In the BBC documentary series A Life of Grime Trebus was repeatedly shown arguing with council workers who had been instructed to clear his house of the 515 cu yd (394 m3) of rubbish it contained. He was eventually rehoused at the Trentfield Nursing Home in Southgate,[3] where he died at the age of 83. Following his death the BBC broadcast an hour-long tribute, Mr Trebus: A Life of Grime.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Edmund Trebus (Obituary)". Telegraph. 4 October 2002.
  2. ^ "Edmund Trebus (Obituary)". The Herald (Glasgow). 7 October 2002. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b Staff, Duncan (5 October 2002). "Obituary of Edmund Trebus". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  4. ^ Steketee, Gail; Randy Frost (2010). Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 270–271. Edmund Trebus.
  5. ^ "Famously dirty old man wins BBC 1 tribute". Broadcast. 9 October 2002. Retrieved 1 February 2013.

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