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.

Reply

bill

Thank you.

Reply

Anonymous

You are an inspiration and I thank you for your service.

Reply

Leah

Thank you x

Reply

L.M

Dear Schuler, Thank you for being brave, strong and selfless. Not many people could return to the war after experiencing what you soldiers did. Thanking you.

Reply

Anonymous

Thank you for your courage and persistance. We owe you a great deal.

Reply

Peta

Thank you for guiding me through your service. Without your photography; we would have no recorded history. May you rest in peace knowing your work is done.

Reply

Anonymous

Dear Schuler, I like being a photographer. What was your favourite food? Last thing, why the hell am I writing from a type writer?

Reply

Anonymous

Thank you.

Reply

Anonymous

I FEEL SADDENED AT THE LOSS OF A GREAT JOURNALIST.

Reply

Tyler

Thanks for your perseverence and giving up your life to serve our country. R.I.P.

Reply

Jorja Montgomerie

You did a really good job at war when you fought for our country.

Reply

nicola paxton

I hope you had a good life.

Reply

rydn

Australian legend.

Reply

reece

You're a good fellow.

Reply

Anonymous

Lest we forget.

Reply

Anonymous

Brave to the last. R.I.P.

Reply

Anonymous

How are you?

Reply

greg,geoff ponting

Cheers Phillip for your sacrifice.

Reply

julie

Thank you.

Reply

Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

Reply

Pierre

Thank you for what you did, you, Schuler, and all the soldiers, back there!
May you all rest in peace, brothers. Belgium and France won't forget your sacrifices!

Reply

Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

Reply

Anonymous

RIP. Thank you for your service.

Reply

samuel

Thank you so much you saved us. We love you so much, thank you for helping us. From Samuel xxx

Reply

Anonymous

Such bravery in all the futillity of war.

Reply

Anonymous

We are here as a testament to what you achieved. We thank you.

Reply

Anonymous

Your country and I deeply thank you for your selfless act.

Reply

Anonymous

Hello, I have got your card. Thank you for defending our country.

Reply

Anonymous

Thank you.

Reply

annie

The war is officially over.

Reply

Anonymous

Did it hurt? Was it a slow death? You did die early....

Reply

ANGUS

HEY MATE, THANKS FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY. ANGUS NORBURY.

Reply

Anonymous

Rest in peace, you brave soul.

Reply

christine Henderson

Hello Olie & Will, Hope you have enjoyed yourselves and learnt something.

Reply

Emily Forrest

Lest we forget.

Reply

Anonymous

Thank you for your bravery.

Reply

Anonymous

It is a shame you died as soon as you went to war. It is good that you took a lot of photos and wrote (should of concentrated on living!).

Reply

Anonymous

Thanks for taking lots of photos.

Reply

Anonymous

May your commitment to preserving the lives and stories of our national history be forever remembered along with your sacrifice and courage.

Reply

Morgan and Dennis

LEST WE FORGET.

Reply

sharon dekker

Thank you for your service. LEST WE FORGET!!

Reply

Anonymous

We will all miss you.

Reply

grace

Dear Mr Phillip Schuler, congratulations on bringing back photographs that we can see from the war. From Grace.

Reply

Kian

LEST WE FORGET YOU SCHULER.

Reply

Hayden

Thank you very much.

Reply

Anonymous

I would be so happy to meet you, but you're not alive.

Reply

Anonymous

Thank you for fighting for our lovely country. You all did a great job.

Reply

Scarlett

Schuler, you are truly brave. I appreciate the sacrifice you made so everyone could be happy ;] You showed a lot of courage.

Reply

Anonymous

Dear Schuler, I want to thank you for your bravery when you went to war. You risked your life for everyone just so they could be happy. Lots of love, Scarlett.

Reply

Pages

Add your voice