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

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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sam

You were brave.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

Phillip Schuler was a good man and unfortunately got killed. We will not forget him or the soldiers who fought in the war or the nurses who healed and comforted everyone.

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wb

Thank you for your contribution for defending freedom.

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k.o.

We highly appreciate your efforts. We owe our lives to you and your allies.

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Anonymous

Thank you for defending our country. Your courage was very admirable.

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Joanne

RIP~ THANK YOU.

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Anonymous

The sacrifice made by you and so many others will never be forgotten and will continue to shape the nation you fought for.

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Chloe

Thank you for your bravery!

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Anonymous

Your work lives on.

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Anonymous

Rest in peace.

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Jess

Lest we forget.

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Haig

Thankyou for giving the ultimate sacrifice of your life for future generations

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GRACE

YOUR A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER,I SALUTE YOU

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Anonymous

Memories live on today.
Never to be forgotten.
Amazing.

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Anonymous

admiration and respect.

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karen serotzki

amazing man
great photos portraying the challenges faced by you all for our freedom .... THANK YOU xo

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Anonymous

such a brave soldier such a shame that you had to die for our country thanks peter for everything you done to protect others RIP

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FRED SYEWART

REST IN PEACE

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karen

such courage and sacrfice....thankyou and god bless.

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Anonymous

thank you all so emotional

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luc

thank you for your sacrifice

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Anonymous

the greatest sacrifice

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Perri Pires

Thank you for giving your life so that we may live in peace. You suffered a dreadfully painful death which was such a waste. I will pray for you.

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Anonymous

I am so sorry that you had to give your life and suffer such a dreadfully painful death. I will always remember what you gave and say a prayer for you on Anzac Day.

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kate

rememberance day 2014

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Anonymous

to all you very brave
men and women
thankyou

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Rachel

I thank you for your sacrifice and will remember you and your story.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU

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Anonymous

LEST WE FORGET HIM & HIS SERVICE TO A GRATEFUL NATION:)

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Anonymous

Thank you

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Amanda Thomas

You gave your life and we will be forever grateful. Your legacy will live on forever.

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Anonymous

rip

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Anonymous

REST IN PEACE

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kate wilkes

We are so very proud of what you have done to make our lives so wonderful now. Words are not enough to express our gratitude.

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Anonymous

we will remember you with gratitude

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fraser

your contributions will not be forgotten

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luke

served us proud

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Anonymous

I miss you

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Anonymous

thank you for doinh what was right for us

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Anonymous

You left a lasting memory. Thank you.

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cassandra stipanicev

we will be forever indebted for your service and sacrifice. your stories and images ensure we remember

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