People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Aarons, Samuel (Sam) (1895–1971)

This article was published:

Samuel (Sam) Aarons (1895-1971), radical activist and communist

Born: 21 October 1895 at Prahan, Melbourne, Victoria. Son of Louis Aarons, boot repairer and Jane nee Hyam. Married: Dorian Lilian Thomas, separated in 1924. They had two sons, Laurie and Eric. He later married Annette Elizabeth Moore and they had one son, Gerald, in 1949. Died: 10 January 1971 in Perth, W.A. Religion: Jewish.

  • Parents active in Victorian Socialist Party and founder members of Communist Party of Australia.
  • Socialist since youth and anti-conscriptionist in WWI, batoned by police during 2000 strong march to Parliament House, Melbourne, 1916, serving gaol sentence.
  • Joined CPA 1929 following failure of shoe repair shop.
  • Arrested and charged for using insulting words in regard to policeman/spy, 1931.
  • Secretary Friends of Soviet Union (FOSU) 1930s and led second workers’ delegation to USSR, 1932.
  • National organiser, CPA;
  • member International Brigade as transport driver, Spain, 1936, participating in fierce battles at Tereul and the Ebro, and speaker/fundraiser for Spanish Relief Committee upon return for subsistence wage of £2 per week.
  • House raided by security in WWII. Independent Socialist candidate. Granville, 1941.
  • During 1940s and 1950s member of Central Committee, CPA and Secretary Western Australian State Committee, CPA.
  • Described by Macintyre as ‘blunt’ and ‘aggressive, by son Eric as ‘a charming, sophisticated and sensual man, enormously attractive to women’.

, 13 Jan. 1971; Australian Worker, 8 July 1931; Newcastle Morning Herald, 11 January 1971; John Playford, Doctrinal and strategic problems of the Communist Party of Australia, 1945-1962, PhD thesis, ANU, 1962, Macintyre, 1998. Inglis, Australians in the Spanish Civil War, 1987. Eric Aarons, What’s Left. Information from J. Damousi, 1991.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Aarons, Samuel (Sam) (1895–1971)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 March 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012