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

nicolas bozich

Thank you for teaching me about your life. You are the greatest ...

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nic

REST IN PEACE, MY FELLOW FRIEND.

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Loyd Knight

RIP. Brave one.

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jeanette

What an honour to have this privilege.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Lest we forget.

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ELIH

I'm very sorry.

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Matteo

The world is now a better place because of your help.

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Anonymous

Thank you for saving our country.

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Anonymous

You were a very brave man. Thank you for fighting for our country. We are now free thanks to you.

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caitlin

Your photos are amazing.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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Anonymous

A wonderful hero who paid the ultimate price. Thank you.

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Anonymous

He was so young and brave to go off to the war to report and photograph so today we can all realise how life was like on the front and to honour and respect all who died.

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phllip

Served your country well.

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donna cooke

Thank you for being so brave.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service. May we learn from your work and never again go to war.

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Anonymous

Respect-------salute.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service. Without your photos, we at home could only imagine the hardship all went through.

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isaac

Thank you for fighting for us.

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Adrian Christopher

Your courage and commitment will be honoured and never forgotten. R.I.P.

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Anonymous

Amazing spirit and courage.

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Anonymous

Dear Philip Schuler, You were a great and inspiring photographer. I wish I could meet you.

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Anonymous

After all that you witnessed the first time, you then enlisted and returned. Such courage.

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Anonymous

You died, so sad.

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Anonymous

You were the best photographer ever.

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Anonymous

Bravery comes in different forms. To get a message of hope back home brings some comfort.

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Anonymous

With grateful thanks to you and all you served with, your photographs provide a compelling visual memory. Grateful for your sacrifice giving us freedom. Lest we forget.

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Tahlia

Thanks for serving our country.

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Anonymous

It would have been nice to have met you.

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Anonymous

Good job, brother!

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Anonymous

Inspiring!

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Reilly wicks

It was a great fight that you put up. Unfortunately you died, but all well, I am still alive. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

P.S. May you rest in peace. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your outstanding service in protecting our nation. May you rest in peace.

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manny

An amazing story and sacrifice. RIP.

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Anonymous

Dear Phillip, We appreciate the sacrifice you made for us and our children.

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Adele Bush

LEST WE FORGET.

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liam b

You were a great man that no-one shall forget. God bless this worthy man for he has done well with his life.

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liam b

A tribute isn't much so God bless you for your sacrifice. Let us honor you in your afterlife.

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liam b

You fought hard and well. LEST WE FORGET.

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Anonymous

LEST WE FORGET.

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Anonymous

I have really enjoyed learning about you. I think my friend Daniel is going to enjoy hearing about you. He loves learning about wars.

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Anonymous

IN HONOUR OF SCHULER, AS WELL AS ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS WAR AND ALL OTHERS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

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Anonymous

Thank you Phillip Schuler.

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daniel

Thank you for all you did and all that your mates did. Lest we forget!!

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Anonymous

For service and bravery, lest we forget.

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sue

I am left with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and gratitude. Such a sacrifice.

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KHP

Phillip you paid the ultimate price doing what you loved best. You gave up your life in a merciless war, the Great War and the War to end all Wars. You were the same age as my great uncle, a Captain in the AIF, who was killed by a " Bosch " Shell when checking on his men during a heavy bombardment. He is buried at the Daours Communal Extension Cemetery near Villers-Bretonneux.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your courage and your sacrifice. Your photographic images live on to tell us your story.

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