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

jack carpnter

VERY GOOD!

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georgia

You have a lot of courage being out there. Rest in peace and pride.

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georgia

Thanks for fighting for us in the war. Rest in peace.

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lachlan

Thank you for fighting. Your life for our freedom. Lachlan.

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Georgia

DEAR PHILLIP SCHULER. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU DID TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY. YOU WILL BE MISSED SO MUCH. REST IN PEACE. SINCERELY GEORGIA.

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Anonymous

Fantastic photography, well captured. Rest in peace. Forever seen by many.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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hamish

Thank you for fighting for our country.

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Anonymous

You were very brave, Phillip, and I am stunned by what you went through. I really look up to you.

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michael harby

THANK YOU!

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Anonymous

Thank you for taking photos in the war.

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Anonymous

Thank you for going to war.

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Anonymous

You are a hero.

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Anonymous

Thank you for what you have done for our country.

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Caleb Stevens

I think you help so many people.

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dawn barrett

To the family of Phillip, who gave his life like many others so that we could be free. Words cannot describe how grateful we are and in debt to you. Love Dawn {England).

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Anonymous

So sad that you never returned home. Lest we forget.

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Sue

Thank you for the photographs you took. It means a lot to us who were not there.

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Anonymous

Rest in Peace and Our Thanks for your Sacrifice.

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sheryl mclennan

Thank you for your service and bravery.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget men such as you. Rest in eternal peace.

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kate

Thank you for sacrifice.

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Anonymous

Your courage and humility will not be forgotten. Your images of this terrible time in our history remind us of yours and the many others who sacrificed your lives for us. God bless.

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Anonymous

Thank you for fighting and defending your country.

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Anonymous

It was too much to ask any man or woman. The lesson learnt is that we must acknowledge that violence and oppression must be challenged anywhere we experience it. Not by war.

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adam

Thank you for your hard work and contribution to this historic event. RIP - Phillip Schuler.

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rhonda benfer

May you rest in peace.

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John

Thank you. Your sacrifice will always be remembered.

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Anonymous

Very courageous man!

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Anonymous

My daughter is a journalist so this story has extra relevance. It is special and sad. Thank you everyone in this Centre especially WA Museum.

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layla

Thank you for helping our country.

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lucas

Thank you for your service and fighting the war.

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Anonymous

A great sacrifice for us here today.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your sacrifice. God bless.

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Anonymous

My grandfather survived the war. He was in the Ambulance Corps. His name was Sydney Roy Kellett. What a shame it didn't end all wars.

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Anonymous

It was good to learn about you. So sorry you didn't make it.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your life. Your sacrifice to save generations of lives, and christian values. God bless you and keep you close to him forever.

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Anonymous

It was fun following your story.

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Anonymous

It is the story of people like Phillip Schuler that make us all appreciate the sacrifice that has been made to make this country one of which we can be proud. Thank you.

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Linda Tong

We remember you and are forever grateful for our freedom.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

ONE OF TOO MANY BRAVE YOUNG MEN WHO DID NOT RETURN HOME TO HIS FAMILY.

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Karen

Because of your work we are privileged to see these images today. With thanks and gratitude.

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Anonymous

A wonderfully brave man showing the importance of photographers during war.

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Anonymous

YOU DID WONDROUS WORK IN THE MOST HORRIFIC CONDITIONS. I THANK YOU FOR THAT.

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Raylene Ingram

An amazing and emotional journey of your fight.

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thomas

Dear Phillip. Unlucky how you died. I feel so sorry.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your brave contribution.

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Anonymous

Thank you, the efforts from all ANZACs makes us proud. RIP.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU for all you did. We will never forget.

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