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

Judith Foster

Thank you for your sacrifice.

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Anonymous

Lest We Forget.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your duty to our country ...god bless.

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Anonymous

RIP brave man.

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Lottie

Thank you for your service.

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CAROL

Thank you for your service.

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sophie

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Thank you. You fought bravely, you fought for us. Thank you.

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n. stirling

God bless the bravery of all men and their mothers.

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leah

Thank you for your courage and service to our country. Lest we forget.

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sue

Truth in journalism will always be valued. Thank you for your sacrifice.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service. I will visit your grave on my next trip.

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j0ey

HELLO.

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mabyn

Great photography skills.

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mill

Hi.

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Anonymous

Hi it's Milla, I just wanted to say good job in the war and that you are my person at Albany Anzac area.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service. Love, Molly.

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lily

Thank you for your pictures.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service and tribute in the war. Your service has helped make our world a better place.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service and tribute in the war. Your service has helped make our world a better place.

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Landen

Thanks for serving for Australia -Landen.

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Anonymous

May we honor your life with peace.

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tim

Thank you for sacrificing your life for our country. You will always be remembered.

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Anonymous

It has been an honour to spend time following a part of your life. Sorry it ended during the war.

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mia ;]

Thank you.

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mia

Thanks to you. You made the world a better place.

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Logan

What type of photos did you have to take? And why did you guys have to leave the horses behind?

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Elijah

You have a good job.

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Anonymous

You are very brave and well done.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Anonymous

I'M SORRY YOU DIED. THANKS FOR ALL THE NICE PICTURES. BYE. I HOPE HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS.

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olivia robertson

Thanks for protecting us.

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Anonymous

He used his life to save ours.

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Anonymous

He was a good man to help our lives.

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Anonymous

Your family and country are proud.

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Danny

Thank you for recording facets of the war for future generations to honour those that served.

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Anonymous

Thank you for fighting for us.

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Anonymous

RIP hero.

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Lili

RIP my fine fellow.

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Anonymous

Dear Schuler, I would like to thank you for your service. This world is now a better place.

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d

Your bravery with camera inhand has provided us all with incredible insight. Lest we forget.

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christopher

Thank you.

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JO WEST ED WEST...

HAPPY TO WRITE THIS MESSAGE TO A LOST BUT REMEMBERED UNCLE.

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patricia davis.

Thank you for your contribution.

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ANONYMOUS

Cheers boys.

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emma taylor

Lest we forget. Thank you for your service.

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dee

The real stories can be told because of you. Thank you.

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patty

Thank you for your services. You seemed like a hero.

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jade

RIP. Here in the 21st century we haven't had any war yet. 

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service. May you be rested and remember the things you have done that gave us freedom and left your family for al lof us. Lest we forget. Sincerely Lucas.

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