Phillip Frederick Edward Schuler

Portrait of Phillip Frederick Edward Schuler

Rank

War photographer and correspondent

Roll title

Attached to 1st Division Headquarters

Convoy ship

HMAT Orvieto

Schuler in the uniform of an officer of the Australian Intelligence Corps in 1911.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial A05158

Phillip Frederick Edward Schuler was born in East Melbourne in 1889, the son of Gottlieb Frederick, a German migrant, and Sarah.

As part of his compulsory military service, Schuler served in the militia in the 5th Battalion. In February 1911 he transferred to the Australian Intelligence Corps as a second lieutenant, being assigned to the Australian Service Corps a year later.

Schuler was a junior reporter at The Age in Melbourne, while his father was editor. In this role, he volunteered to be the paper’s correspondent attached to the AIF, responsible for photographing, documenting and reporting on the campaigns. 

Schuler was 26 years old when he left with the First Convoy to travel to Egypt and Gallipoli.

Reverend Edwin Bean, Charles Bean's father; Charles Bean, the official war correspondent; Archie Whyte, editor of the Melbourne Age and Phillip Schuler. The photograph was probably taken before Schuler and Bean's embarkation at Melbourne in October 1914.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, A05379

HMAT Orvieto leaving Port Melbourne. The crowd watching the ship depart had rushed the pier. The photograph was taken by Charles Bean.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial G01539

Schuler embarked from Melbourne on 21 October 1914 on board HMAT Orvieto, the flagship of the First Convoy. After a five-day passage, Orvieto arrived in King George Sound, Albany, on 26 October.

It was on board Orvieto that Schuler met and befriended Charles Bean, the official war correspondent.

The Orvieto reached Suez on 1 December 1914 and passed through the canal. It docked at Alexandria on the morning of 3 December and disembarked troops. 

After disembarking in Egypt, Schuler reported on the preparations being undertaken by the AIF and stayed at Mena Camp, outside Cairo. On New Year’s Day 1915 Schuler and Bean climbed one of the pyramids.

Schuler took this photograph of a First Convoy transport unloading at Alexandria, Egypt.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial PS0375

Schuler and Chaplain Walter Dexter stand outside a tent at Mena Camp in Egypt.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial J04104

Bean and Schuler (both behind the stand) take notes on Sir George Reid’s speech to the troops at Mena Camp in December 1914. Reid, a former Australian prime minister, was the High Commissioner for Australia in England.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial G01603

Members of the Australian Light Horse in Cairo

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial PS0463

Schuler atop one of the pyramids on New Year’s Day, 1915, photographed by Charles Bean.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, G01651

Schuler watches the movement of allied ships in Mudros Harbour from Mount Elias on Lemnos

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial PS1954

As the Australian official correspondent, Bean was able to secure a place at the Gallipoli landing of 25 April 1915. The unofficial correspondents were excluded, but Schuler pleaded with General Sir Ian Hamilton, the expeditionary force’s commander-in-chief, to be allowed to go ashore. With permission finally granted, he arrived on the peninsula in late July, in time to cover the August offensive. 

Schuler stayed in Bean’s dug-out at Maclagan’s Ridge and nursed him after he was wounded at the battle of Sari Bair. 

Schuler returned to Australia in early 1916. While there, he wrote two books based on his experiences of the campaign, Australia in Arms and The Battlefields of Anzac, which were both published that year.

But he felt he needed to do more. He enlisted with the AIF in Melbourne on 7 April 1916, joining the Headquarters Corps 3rd Divisional Train as a driver. 

Phillip Schuler’s image of Anzac Cove from the sea.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial PS1472

A view of Brown’s Dip on Gallipoli, taken by Schuler

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial PS1509

Schuler outside a dug-out at No. 2 Post on Gallipoli in 1915. Oars and boat timbers from an abandoned lifeboat have been used to prop up the entrance.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial G00983

A view of Plugges' Plateau and Maclagan's Ridge, where Schuler nursed his friend Bean after he has been wounded.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial H16712

Schuler, probably at his family home in Melbourne, before leaving for overseas service.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial P07692.001

Schuler left with the First Convoy as a press correspondent in 1914. After his return to Australia in 1916, he officially enlisted in the AIF on 7 April. These attestation papers record that enlistment.

Courtesy of the National Archives of Australia: B2455, SCHULER P F E, pp1-3

The area around Messines was the scene of heavy fighting on 7 June 1917.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial E01288

Within a month Schuler had been promoted to lance corporal. He embarked from Melbourne on HMAT Persic, arriving at Plymouth, England, on 25 July. He remained in Britain until he was transferred to France in November.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in February 1917 and was posted to 869 Company, while the 3rd Divisional Train, Australian Army Service Corps was at La Crèche. A short time later, his company was transferred to Le Kirlem, and then Nieppe, where he was to be the supply officer for 868 Company. On 24 May he was promoted to lieutenant.

Schuler’s company was responsible for supplying the units fighting at Messines Ridge with barrage rations and pack transport. 

Captured German trenches at Messines Ridge, Belgium, June 1917.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial H08723

The area around Messines was the scene of heavy fighting on 7 June 1917.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial E01288

On 23 June 1917, Schuler was seriously wounded by a shell burst at Messines, Belgium. Later that day, he succumbed to his wounds. His service record states that he died of gunshot wounds to his left arm, face, throat and right leg.

 

Schuler is buried at the Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, in French Flanders.  In an obituary, Bean described his friend as, ‘[a] brilliantly handsome, bright, attractive, [and] generous youngster’.

Phillip Schuler is buried in Trois Arbres Cemetery (Plot 1, Row S, Grave 43) in Steenwerck, Belgium.

Courtesy of the War Grave Photographic Project

madison

You were brave

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Anonymous

lest we forget

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Kobus

Fellow Officer, Salute

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Anonymous

thank you and all your colleages for your wonderful efforts. may you rest in peace.

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Anonymous

rip

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Anonymous

REST IN PEACE MR SCHULER

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Anonymous

All of AUSTRALIA is grateful for your services. We will remember you always. Thank you.

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ma miriam arafiles

god bless

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Anonymous

god bless you

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Anonymous

your efforts are not forgotten and your documentations of the war have helped shape australias view of the war.

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Anonymous

Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice so we can live a free life.

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chelsea

thank you

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Harvey

Thanks for taking photos of the war.

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Harvey

Thanks for taking photos of war.

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Anonymous

REST IN PEACE

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Anonymous

thank you for all you have done

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Anonymous

RIP and thank you for your supreme sacrifice

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Anonymous

An amazing story of courage, particuarly as you knew what you were facing the 2nd time. I would love to read your books.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES YOU GAVE SO MUCH FOR THIS COUNTRY MAY YOUR EFFORTS NEVER BE FORGOTTEN MAY FUTURE GENERATIONS PROTECT YOUR LEGACY AND MAY YOU REST IN PEACE

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Abbey Burton

Thankyou for service to out great country. We will always remember your bravery and sacrifice. You are a real life hero. LEST WE FORGET.

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Anonymous

Thank you for risking your life for our great country. We will be forever thankful for your bravery.

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charlotte

it has been great to come and step in your shoes and being able to have lots of interesting things about you it has been a pleasure. regards xx

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Rosie

What an amazing story and I hope that you know that what you did was amazing.

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Anonymous

you did the right thing. Even if you were killed. I hope you know that.

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Anonymous

I am very grateful that you did the right thing may you rest in pease

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JED

HOW MANY YEARS WERE YOU IN THE ARMY?

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Anonymous

thank you for my free life

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Anonymous

Your journeys create respect and awe: from photographer to soldier, from safety to sacifice. History has not forgotten.

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Anonymous

you were brave

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Jai

Thank you for your services in WWI Keep taking pictures Jai

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Anonymous

I thank you for your service in WWI Keep taking pictures Sincerely Jai

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lynthia

thank you for fighting for us and bringing us peace because without your bravery we probably would still be fighting and wouldn't know lots about war without your photos.

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Sarvar Rzayev

Thank you for your service. We appreciate everything you have done to protect your country and allies. We shall not forget.

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Anonymous

we must remember all those young men and women that sacrificed their lives for us and the future generations to come. we need to ensure that everyone remembers the sacrifces

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RENAE

lest we forget Phillip Schuler

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Anonymous

we owe you and yours alot, thankfully in calmer times, you are remembered here in Albany.

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Anonymous

thankyou for helping my wonderful country in the war.

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mason

I THINK you are very brave I KNOW I could never survive a war like that. from mason aged 10

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Anonymous

thank you for all you did

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Neville

Without any need to return you did. Thanks for your service and bravery.

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Anonymous

we are so grateful for the legacy you left behind and we know you are always nearby. i love you

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David Rafferty

You wrote the history of the 12th. My grandfathers Batallion. Thank you for the opportunity to meet you and share in some of your experiences. My grandfather was Lt Col R A Rafferty DSO

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Diana House

What a very brave man indeed.

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Anonymous

GOD BLESS YOU XXXXX

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Anonymous

thank you

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bailey-jane

you are a great war photographer

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shirley

may your work be not in vain, and we learn from the horrible images you captured.

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Elizabeth

R.I.P you wil always be remembered.

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Anonymous

Thank you for protecting us.

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Anonymous

thanks for your sacrifice to the war efforts. god bless

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