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 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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[0-0]

Hi.

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liam

You are a brave man.

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Anonymous

Thank-you.

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alex

Thank you for your service.

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Stacey

Thank you for your bravery.

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Anonymous

Thank you for being brave enough to go to war to send back the important stories and pictures.

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isbella

Thank you for your service.

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Harry Hodgetts

Well done Schuler, best wishes.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Anonymous

I have loved learning about the war photographer, I would like to be a photogragher when I get older, not for the war though.

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c.hanney

Thank you.

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alex

We only have the Anzacs to thank for this great land.

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Anonymous

Thank you for all you have done for the country, I feel like I knew you personally and have a connection after hearing and following your journey.

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Anonymous

Hi.

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Anonymous

I never met you.

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casey

I love you.

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vicky stokes

Thank you for figthing in the war and helping Australia. We will never forget you.

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Anonymous

I hope you helped out as much as you could and I hope the people who love you and you love, think of you.

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jahrad

Good job.

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chris boardman

Thank you for your bravery, rest in peace.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR YOUR BRAVERY, REST IN PEACE.

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isobel

Good job.

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Anonymous

Rest in peace.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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James

For going back as a soldier after all you had seen, and giving your life for the rest of us, Thank you.

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Anonymous

You did a good job.

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Anonymous

Thank you doesn't seem enough for the sacrifice of so few for so many. Lest we forget.

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amy

Thank you.

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louise

Thank you for your sacrifice. We can learn from your bravery.

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Anonymous

l have so much admiration, respect and love for all of you who fought in all ways so we can have the life we have now. Rest in peace.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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aileen

Thank you for the love to your country. God bless your soul and your loved ones.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your sacrifice.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your courage, humanity and service to allow us to live in this beautiful country safely.

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Devina

You are my hero. Thank you.

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Brad

Cheers and thanks.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR YOUR BRAVERY AND DEVOTION.

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Skye Blitz-Brisbane

Your photos are AMAZING I don't know how you do it. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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skye

Thank you for your service to Australia and your photos as they helped me understand the history of Australia and you.

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