Monday, February 13, 2012

John TRUNLEY, Fat Boy of Peckham, my great uncle

The photo shows my great aunt Flo with John TRUNLEY, in a vintage motorbike with sidecar. Emma and the children are standing in the background. Not sure who it is sitting pillion behind 'fat boy'? Probably Flo's son Reg from her first marriage. There's not a lot of room!

Johnny TRUNLEY aka the Fat Boy of Peckham was overweight right from the start. A newspaper article states that by the age of seven months he weighed in at 2 stone; by 9 he weighed 18 stone; by 14 he weighed 26 stone; and by 18 a staggering 33 stone. He made appearances in theatres and music halls, and travelled on the continent with the likes of Buffalo Bill, and was a friend of Charlie Chaplin.

Whatever attracted my pretty great aunt Flo (nee WEEDEN) to him is anybody's guess. They married in 1927. He was her second husband after Alf PETTY, a barber, who appears with her in the photos printed on earlier blogs this week(the picnic, the walk, the gate). Flo and Alf had married just 6 years earlier, and she was newly widowed. As it happens, she and 'fat boy' were married for 14 years, until he died in 1944 after an air raid.  As for Flo, she married Jim ROBINSON, husband number 3, in 1948 and went on to live to the ripe old age of 87.


Ginny2cats said...

Certainly a larger than life character !

Anonymous said...

john trunley is my great great granddad. I am molly webber, daughter of james webber, granddaughter of iris trunley.
omg me n the f@ boy r related.

Esme Wb said...

Hi Molly. I'm in touch with your gran Iris. x

Anonymous said...

A distant relative of mine is researching our family tree, and my Grandmother, Rosie Cox, used to call him ‘Fat Boy Peckham’
My relative has these details:
John Thomas Trunley (Johnnie) born 1898 Peckham, Camberwell.
Father John Thomas Trunley.

Johnny joined a freak show when his mother could no longer feed him.
Now Im not too sure abiout the next bit, but "Married Lionette or Lionie the lion faced lady and had several children, none of whom inherited their parents characteristics."
He weighed 504 lbs when he was 18 and in later life was 5' 8" tall and weighed 40 stone.
I have details of a Henry Samuel Trunley b 31 oct 1822, Christened at St Paul's Deptford 1 Dec 1822, father Thomas, mother Susannah.
Rosina Cox married Henry Trunley Sept 1872 at St Olaves, Bermondsey (1d 337)
Rosina was my grandmothers great Aunt, and she was named 'Rosie' possibly because of her.
If you have any further info or can confirm the above, it would be very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

My name is Ashley Trunley, must be related somehow, never really looked into my family tree.

Anonymous said...

oddly, my nan used to talk about him. .and either her nan was 'granny trunley'