John Trunley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Thomas Trunley
Born (1898-10-14)14 October 1898
Camberwell, London
Died 30 September 1944(1944-09-30) (aged 45)
Nationality British
Other names The Fat Boy of Peckham
Occupation Music hall performer
Years active 1903 – 1927
Known for Proclaimed the heaviest person in Britain in 1915

John Thomas Trunley (14 October 1898 – 30 September 1944) was a British music hall and sideshow performer famed for his obesity and known during his lifetime as The Fat Boy of Peckham.[1][2] As a child he gained weight rapidly and by the age of seven months he weighed 2 stone (28 lb; 13 kg). By the age of four he weighed 12 stone (170 lb; 76 kg) and was taken to be examined by the eminent doctor, Sir Frederick Treves. When he started school at six he had a 44-inch (1,100 mm) chest and 46-inch (1,200 mm) waist.[3] He achieved national prominence when Lord Northcliffe [4] ran a critical story about London County Council’s decision to extend an existing tramway 400 yards (370 m) because Trunley could no longer walk to Reddins School. Shortly after this he began to tour England under the management of entrepreneurs such as Fred Karno.[5] Trunley appeared on the music halls informing the audience "I want to be a jockey". After the First World War he negotiated a film contract playing small character parts. He married and had children, before dying of pulmonary TB in 1944. He is buried in Camberwell New Cemetery.



  1. ^ "The Thirty Three Stone Teen Who Rocketed to Celebrity". Southwark News. London. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Bondeson 2015, p. 28.
  3. ^ Trunley Family Web-Site
  4. ^ Tabloid BBC3 18 June 2007 20:00-21:00GMT
  5. ^ Beasley, J.D. Who Was Who in Peckham. London: Chener Books, 1980.


Bondeson, Jan (March 2015). "The Fat Boy of Peckham". Fortean Times. London (325). ISSN 0308-5899.