- Branch of Service
- World War I (1914-1918)
- Date of Enlistment
- Place of Enlistment
- Melbourne, Victoria
- Other Name(s)
- Also known as 'Theodore Harold Ashton'
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Bendigo, Victoria
- Address (at enlistment)
- Melbourne, Victoria (previously Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT)
- Next of Kin
- George Aarons (father), Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria
- Final Rank
- Final Unit
- 3 Machine Gun Battalion AIF
Aarons entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon in March 1914 but was discharged on 13 December 1915 after failing to pass his exams. He enlisted in March 1916 and arrived in England as a Sergeant with the 39th Battalion in July 1916. Shortly afterwards he was appointed as Company Sergeant Major and was sent to an officer's training school just before the Battle of Messines in June 1917. Qualifying as a 2nd Lieutenant, Aarons was transferred to the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion in 1918 and promoted to Lieutenant in August 1918. By then the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion (part of the 3rd Division) was advancing against the Germans along the north bank of the Somme River. Aarons was wounded by mustard gas in October 1918, ending his war. After returning to Australia he changed his name to Theodore Harold Ashton in 1921 and moved to New Zealand. He married Hulda Lehrback in May 1935 in Wellington, New Zealand and in 1952 was working there for Universal Pictures. He died in Wellington in 1975 aged 79 years. Lee refers to him as Theodore Hyman Aarons. Documents had referred incorrectly to Aarons as being Jewish and not Anglican.
Description - height 5 feet 3 inches, weight 129 pounds, chest 34-37½ inches, medium complexion, brown eyes, black hair, mole right side abdomen, left breast and on back, Church of England.
Colonel J.E. Lee, 'Duntroon: The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-1946', 1952
New Zealand Births, Deaths & Marriages - www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/Home/
NAA RecordSearch - Series B2455 (First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920)