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

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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Anonymous

Thank you for your service. May your sacrifice never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Phillip.

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Anonymous

a beautiful place here....well done

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Dusan Toman

Thank you in the war. The world is better this way. WELL DONE MATE!

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Anonymous

Dear Schuler, how is it at war? Also do you miss your parents?

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HELEN

A SHORT LIFEWELL LIVED THANKYOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE

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Anonymous

You were a brave person to go to the war and go through what you did. I think that you were a great insperation to everyone.

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ELLIE

I LOVE YOU :) :(

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Anonymous

great job

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Anonymous

inspirational journey

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Melissa

I loved your story and the many that, thanks to you, I've been able to know. Even in your not long life, you have spoken and shown your voice and it will NEVER be forgotten: as you can see, I'm writing 100 years later from Italy. Just this fact makes my mind blow. God bless you xx

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Dr T PETERS

THANK YOU FOR GIVING UP YOUR LIFE SO THAT WE CAN KNOW ENJOY THE FREEDOM WE HAVE. RIP

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Anonymous

thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

You have my condolences for what you have done for my freedom and the freedom of all autralians

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Anonymous

dear schuler i hope that you took amazing pictures of the war, you were brave to go to the war and die of many wounds.
lest we forget, sincerely hannah.

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liam campbell

lest we forget

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liam campbell

lest we forget

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liam campell

lest we forget

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Jye

You're a legend! And I'd like to thank you. Our country will be forever grateful.

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EVELYN ROSE

YOU HAVE MADE OUR FAMILY HISTORY AMAZING. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED IN THE ROSE FAMILY FOR WHAT YOU DID FOR AUSTRALIA. thanks. From your great grandaugter

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Anonymous

thanks for fighting for our country

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Anonymous

so sad you were killed in action but your memory and work lives on

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sophia

Great courage shown, thank you.

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Anonymous

i cannot imagine how utterly horrifing it all would have been. i can only thank all of those beautiful, brave young men and women for their sacrifice.

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Anonymous

thanks for fighting for us

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Anonymous

THANK YOU

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Karen McKerlie

What incredible bravery and journey. We are forever indebted to thes wonderfull people

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zxz

good work

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maree

Thank you

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charlie

I love photography too. I hope you lived a happy life with Sarah.

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RHYLEE HOLMES

YOU WERE AN INTERESTING MAN TO LEARN ABOUT.

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Anonymous

Your historical records via photography have and will give many generations knowledge and feelings that hopefully will never be experienced again.

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keith miller

RIP, PHILLIP SCHULER.

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David De Jager

It is sad to hear that you died. I like photography.

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Natarsha COXON

Dear Sir, Thank you for the words, stories you brought back from the front line. Courageous and honourable. Prayers.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your courage to once cover the war and then to go relist. The words written and photos taken show an honour beyond human. Prayers.

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Anonymous

You help us all know what war was like, thank you. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Salutations for your service. You will always be remembered.

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Anonymous

Salutations for your service. You will always be remembered.

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Hannah

Thank you for participating in the war. Wish you were here!

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Anonymous

Thank you for your contribution. God bless you.

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EMILY TURNER

WHAT YOU DID WAS AMAZING AND YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED BY MANY. I ENJOYED RESEARCHING YOU TODAY.

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Anonymous

Thanks for reporting so that we have the info and records we have today. RIP.

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Anonymous

RIP. Rest well.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

What horrible challenges you faced. Very proud of your fighting spirit.

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bev

Love your writings. Thank you for giving so much of yourself for our freedom. xx

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amber

Thank you so much for your service. We are so grateful. You are so brave. RIP. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

We are so grateful for your service. Thank you so much - you are amazing. Lest we forget.

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