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

Very sad to hear you died so tragically. Your photos give us a fantastic legacy to look at. RIP.

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penny

Thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

Thank you for all you gave up for us to live free. I will never forget the sacrifice you made.

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kazmaz

Your photos remind us of all the sacrifice and hardship of war. Thank you for keeping such a record.

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Hayden

Thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

Thank you for serving our country.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Anonymous

Your sacrifice will always be remembered with gratitude.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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tracy

God bless and thank you.

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claire

It's Claire. Thank you for risking your life for Australia.

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Anonymous

Hi. How are you? How many people did you kill and save?

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Anonymous

I'm so sorry for your loss, especially at such a young age. Thank you so very much for your service. RIP.

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Anonymous

The contribution made by Phillip Schuler as a war correspondent and later Soldier will remain in my memory of him. A fine man.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Barry Smith

Job well done.

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Gabriel

You were very brave to go back to the war again. RIP.

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Anonymous

Hello Uncle Willie, I hope you are well and you are getting enough food. Hope to see you soon. 65090 GUNNER Royal Garrison Artillery

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Anonymous

THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE! I AM HOLDING BACK MY TEARS.

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Anonymous

So brave, such a waste of life.

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Anonymous

Never forgotten - a selfless sacrifice. RIP.

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alex

Thank you. You are a LEGEND.

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helen

Lest we forget x

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Mia

You are a good man, Phillip.

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Anonymous

You are a great man, Phillip.

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JIM DALE

Brave in the extreme.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your sacrifice. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Good man.

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Anonymous

Thank you for the sacrifice that you and your fellow young men made for the following generations.

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Anonymous

GLAD you made it home. Thank you.

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Anonymous

Amazing courage, sacrifice and love for country, THANK YOU.

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Anonymous

Rest in peace xxx

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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rhys

Thanks for risking your life for ours even though you are dead.

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Anonymous

Thanks for protecting our country so that we could live our life. Unfortunately you can't live yours.

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TROY JONES

YOUR EFFORTS WERE INSPIRING AS YOU SOUGHT TRUTH AND COURAGEOUSLY WENT TO THE TRENCHES TO REVEAL WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO THE LEADER THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

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Anonymous

Dear Schuler, your work in photography was inspiring as you went to the front against all odds. It was inspiring.

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Anonymous

RIP.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your efforts - and your sacrifice.

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tom

Thank you for serving our country.

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Anonymous

I thank you for your personal sacrifice which contributed to the secure life that my family and all others have been able to live.

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Anonymous

To Phillip Schuler, Your story is an amazing one, may you always R.I.P. From Max Backhouse.

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Anonymous

I THINK THAT YOU HAD A GOOD JOB AT WAR BUT INSTEAD OF GOING TO WAR, TRY TO STOP AND MAKE PEACE WITH IT.

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Anonymous

G'day mate, GOOD WORK FOR WHAT YOU DID IN THE WAR ~YOUR WORK IS GREATLY APPRECIATED~

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Anonymous

Thanks for your sacrifice.

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SAM

THANK YOU.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

RIP.

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liam [0-0]

You are a brave man, thank you.

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