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

cathy patterson

Thank you for the journey. How sad to learn that you died. RIP Phillip.

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Anonymous

You were four years older than I when you left with the First Convoy and a short two years later died from your wounds. In that time, you gave us so much. Thank you.

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Carol Hawking

Thank you for your effort of reporting to all the families back home. Rest in peace.

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Anonymous

A brave man who by his efforts enables us to see some of the conditions of the Gallipoli campaign. Thank you for your sacrifice.

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Anonymous

Such brave men!

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Anonymous

Thank you to you and others for what you all had to do, for our freedom.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your courage and bravery.

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Esther

Lest we forget.

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Esther

You will always be remembed as a brave soldier. Lest we forget.

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Esther

Thank you for taking these photos so we can remember all these people who went and fought for our country. You will always be remembered as a brave Australian ANZAC. Lest we forget.

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SIMONA BORGESE

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. YOUR PASSION STILL LIVES ON.

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Anonymous

I am sorry you passed away. Your passion lived on.

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Anonymous

It's me again. I think you are a very brave man.

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Anonymous

You were very brave to defend our country. Thank you.

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Anonymous

Thank you for serving our country. Lest we forget.

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Hayley

Thank you for your brave acts and serving your country well.

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Anonymous

You were so brave and noble.

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Anonymous

Rest in peace.

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Anonymous

I hope you enjoyed being part of the war and helping your country. I like what you did in the war to help your country. We will never forget you. RIP.

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Jane Miller

Many memories last forever.

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Anonymous

Thank you and may you rest in peace.

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keely smith

Thank you for making our home better. You are awesome.

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Anonymous

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Thank you for taking photos of the war so that people today can see what it was like, From Makenna.

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Terry

Rest in Peace.

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Anonymous

Thank you Phillip Schuler for the good work in taking the photos during the war. Because of you we have history of all the soldiers that have sacrificed for us.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service and hard work.

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Anonymous

It sounds like you were a good bloke and a good photographer.

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Anonymous

You were a great man, it sounds like.

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grace

Thanks for an amazing journey.

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Anonymous

I am very sad that Schuler died from gunshot wounds but I know that he must have been very brave. He was very good at photography and he took a lot of lovely pictures.

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Anonymous

You were a great man. xx

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Anonymous

Philip Schuler was a great man and he was a helpful man to have around at hard times. xx

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lois cochrane

Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice for us.

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Abby Curti

Dear Mr Schuler, You are a brave hero. I enjoyed hearing about you.

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Anonymous

You are very brave.

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Anonymous

A heartfelt thank you for your devotion to duty, bravery and loyalty to your country.

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Josh

Thank you for being so brave.

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vnvnvnvvvvvvvvvv

You did well. THANK YOU. GOOD PHOTOS.

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Anonymous

You are very brave.

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Anonymous

HOPE YOU TOOK SOME GREAT PHOTOS!

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emily

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

So sad to die. You had great photos.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice.

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Anonymous

Brave ANZACS never die.

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Anonymous

Thank you for putting your life in danger to keep us safe.xx

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Anonymous

Thanks for your efforts to make me free today.

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Cade bennett

RIP mate and thanks for the role you play in making us who we are. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Courage personified through outstanding photography. LWF.

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Anonymous

Preserved forever through his photographs.

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