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

Anonymous

After surviving the first enlisting, there must be a strong sense of loyalty to return to war. Lest we forget.

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Anonymous

You were very brave to put your life in danger to take photos and report about the war. So it is sad you died at the young age of 27.

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Lilly

Thank you for service and giving us our current perspective of war. May you rest in peace forever-more.

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Sam

Thank you for serving our country!

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Anonymous

THANK YOU !

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Anonymous

Rest in peace.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU.

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Anonymous

Thanks.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Roberto

Thank you for everything, -Rob 19/2/20.

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Anonymous

You did all you could.

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Anonymos

Thank You For Fighting For Us.

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Anonymous

RIP.

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Stuart Halden

To you and all the others who made the ultimate sacrifice, thank you.

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Anonymous

Bravery and courage have no limits xx

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r cook

Thank you.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING FOR US.

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Anonymous

Thank you for serving your country.

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milton

Thanks.

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jim cammaert

Respect.

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Anonymous

I am very lucky to live in Australia and am thankful it is a safe place to live.

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Anonymous

Thank you for all your photos of the war and for then going back to war and to fight for Australia.

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john

R.I.P Cheers for serving Australia.

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Ozi

Thank you for all the great photograhy when you were my father.

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Anonymous

RIP Schuler. We thank you for your service, courage and sacrifice. LEST WE FORGET XX

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Anonymous

Thank you for serving. We will be forever grateful.

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Anonymous

Your bravery and courage helped us understand what war was like.

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anna

Thank you for your service. Rest in peace.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your service.

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phil crosssley

Your sacrifice cannot be thanked, the world is a better place thanks to you.

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Anonymous

Rest in peace, you are a hero.

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Anonymous

YOU GAVE YOUR TOMORROW FOR OUR TODAY.

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Anonymous

Thank you very much for fighting in the war. It must have been a very tough time for you. You shoud be very proud of what you have done for Australia.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU FOR YOUR VALIANT AND BRAVE EFFORTS. WITHOUT SACRIFICE WE ARE NOWHERE AND NOTHING.

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Anonymous

Good job.

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Delilah

Dear Phillip, You are amazing and a hero to Australia and me. I can't believe you had the courage to stand up and take photos duing the war. Thank you.

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Anonymous

You are a hero.

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abby

We will always be thankful for your sacrifice, we will never forget.

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Anonymous

We remember you & your sacrifice. Died at Bullecourt 11th April. Beloved family held dear.

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mitchell hancock

Thanks for serving Australia.

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Anonymous

Thank you.

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Anonymous

Proud of you and your comrades.

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Anonymous

You are a good person. You saved most of us.

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Anonymous

CHEERS.

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rhylee

Thank you.

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Anonymous

It would have been very sad to contribute so much and never be able to return to his family and home one last time. He IS a hero.

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francesca flynn

Thank you for your bravery and capturing images that will last forever.

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Anonymous

RIP Cobber.

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mark baker

RIP Peter, the lost voice of Gallipoli.

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