Phillip Frederick Edward Schuler

Portrait of Phillip Frederick Edward Schuler

Rank

War photographer and correspondent

Roll title

Attached to 1st Division Headquarters

Convoy ship

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

We honour your courage and sacrifice.

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Anonymous

A sad ending.

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chordas

Lest we forget, all those brave souls which are now buried in foreign soil.

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TOM

YOU ARE A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER!! THANKS.

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taylah

Thanks for fighting for us. I will look out for your books. We will always remember you. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

I am sorry that you died. You did a good job and were very brave.

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jan stewart

We can never thank you enough for your enormous sacrifice that has generated the freedoms and lifestyles we have today .....

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Anonymous

Thinking of you, and thank you for a safe Australia. Again thank you so much.

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Anonymous

So thrilled to have made the journey to this special place of memories. All those who gave their lives for us always to remember. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Well done in war.

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Anonymous

Thank you for making the world a better place.

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Bobbie

Good photographing.

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Anonymous

VERY INTERESTING. Very sad the amount of loss.

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Anonymous

What a very brave photographer.

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brenda finnlayson

Your indelible images have left for us for all time immeasurable reasons to offer the gratitude of every Australian born since 1914.

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Anonymous

REST IN PEACE. YOUR SOUL IN MY HEART.

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Anonymous

Your bravery, service and commitment to your country will always be remembered. RIP and thank you...

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tammy

Lest we forget.

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Anna Collins

Thank you for your sacrifice. Rest in Peace.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR SERVING IN WW1. YOUR SERVICE HAS HELPED AUSTRALIA TO BE THE PLACE THAT IT IS AND I WISH THAT YOU WERE ALIVE TO EXPERIENCE IT. THANK YOU FOR GIVING YOUR LIFE FOR OURS.

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callum

Great work throughout the war and thank you for serving Australia and you did the best for us. Lest we forget.

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kirito

Great man. Thanks for your service.

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Margaret W

Thank you for the life you gave. May we that remain, live our lives in a way that leaves this world a better place. RIP & Thank you.

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Paige

Terrible way to die and a waste of an honourable and courageous man ... Lest we forget.

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Parker

Your life was very interesting and you did not deserve to die the way you died. I enjoyed learning about your life.

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WARRIOR

VERY INTERESTING. LEST WE FORGET.

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Pikachu

LEST WE FORGET.

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William

Really Interesting. Gotta catch em all!!

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Joshua

Well done in contributing in the first world war, and well done on writing two books.

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megan

I would like to thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

I thank you for photographing each and every one. You are awesome!

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ISAAC

THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING IN WAR.

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Bryn

Thank you for your bravery and your sacrifice for our country. R.I.P.

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REBECCA

YOUR BRAVERY IS INCREDIBLE

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j0el Ukich

Thank you for keeping Australia safe, we will always remember.

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anonymous

Thank you for your sacrifice for our country.

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Phoebe

Thank you for fighting in the war.

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Anonymous

Thank you for fighting in the war.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Lorraine

Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice of your life to keep our country free.

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Anonymous

Cheers mate!

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rest in peace m...

Rest in peace my friend. Kay PALMATEER.

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Anonymous

Thank you for taking the photos of the war so we could understand all about the war.

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CLAIRE

YOU WERE VERY BRAVE THANK YOU.

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Anonymous

You were extremely brave and courageous. Good on ya.

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Anonymous

You were very brave. Good on ya.

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graham

Thank you for all the photos you took.

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Anonymous

Hello Phillip. I HAD A LOOK AT YOUR PICTURES AND I THINK YOU'RE A REALLY GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER BECAUSE YOU TOOK SOME REALLY GOOD PHOTOS OF THE SHIPS TAKING OFF.

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jodie

There are no words to portray our debt and sadness.

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catherine mangham

It has been a privilege to learn what you lived through. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY XXX

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