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

catherine

Great photo work. RIP.

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Dylan

I admire your bravery.

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Dylan

I like your photos! RIP.

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annette

So happy we live freely and without conflict in Australia now.

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nigel jones PERTH

RIP. LET THERE BE NO MORE WARS.

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Anonymous

Thank you for telling us through pictures what the war was like.

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Anonymous

Don't stop taking your photos of the Great War, mate.

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Anonymous

Your deeds will hopefully be remembered and appreciated ...

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tom

You fought well.

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Anonymous

We have visited many war cemeteries across FRANCE and BELGIUM. Your valour and that of thousands is recognised.

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Anonymous

Getting the records out of what our soldiers survived is one of the most necessary jobs which allow us to forever remember what they gave for us all.

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FRANK WATSON

HOW SAD AND SUCH A WASTE OF LIFE.

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katie

May your bravery and strength not be forgotten.

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rosie johnston

May you rest in peace.

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Anonymous

Dearest Peter, I was so sad to learn that you died of such horrific injuries after all of your work. MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.

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Anonymous

Such an inspiring yet ultimately sad story.

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Anonymous

Your words and your actions did us many great things. Your friend Charles Bean died a month before my Mum was born in Albany.

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Anonymous

To return after what you had seen and captured as a photographer is true bravery. RIP.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE AND ALL THOSE AWESOME PHOTOS. YOU ARE VERY BRAVE AND YOU ARE MY HERO.

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Anonymous

God bless!

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Anonymous

I HAVE BEEN TO WHERE YOU FOUGHT AND DIED. THANKS FOR WHAT YOU GAVE TO US.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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Dechlan

Blast those guns!

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Anonymous

Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. WE WILL REMEMBER YOU.

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Anonymous

RIP. Your legacy remains.

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Duncan wWatson

You went through a lot for a man who was meant to tell a story.

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Anonymous

Your contribution to your country and mates could not have been greater. Thank you.

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Anonymous

Great effort for a job well done.

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Anonymous

A brave soul, dying to record the heroics of others.

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maxine

It was so great to follow you through your journey. Very emotional.

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Anonymous

Your photography has given us great insight into a sad part of history. Thank you for your bravery.

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Anonymous

WELL DONE BUT SO SAD. REST IN PEACE FOREVER.

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Anonymous

I got to ]earn about you briefly. You are remembered. Thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

Courage forever remembered.

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Anonymous

To thank you for your SERVICE is not enough for the sacrifice you made. We in our lives today live in peace and harmony. LEST WE FORGET.

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Anonymous

You are a true hero. May you rest in peace.

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Amelia

I'm sorry you died from a gun. RIP. xx

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Anonymous

I miss you so much. I hope you come home soon. I am sending Anzac biscuits to you and your mates. Hope to see you soon.

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jaxon

Thank you for fighting.

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jaxona

Thank you for fighting for us.

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Abby Kemp

I'm sorry to hear such a sad story. You were so brave for all you did. You have made our world better. THANK YOU!!!!

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silvia pitts

An amazing story. An amazing person. RIP.

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Dominic

Dear Mr Schuler, You are still remembered as a hero.

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ELLA RITA BROWN

To Mr Phillip, I like taking photos too and I am sorry that you died. War is a bad thing. I am a free spirit and I O U the thanks for it and to the others.

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Anonymous

It's a sad thing, war. A horrible, sad, disgusting thing. I like your photographs around the museum and I hope your rest is peaceful. Ella.

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Anonymous

Thank you all for the sacrifices you made for Australia.

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Anonymous

RIP, Phillip Schuler. You served our country proud.

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Anonymous

You are a very brave and loyal man to serve in the army. You have died a terible death and I would honor and look up to you if you were alive today. Paris;].

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Anonymous

May you rest in peace. I hope to do something great with photography as well. :)

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