The remarkable life of one of Australia’s greatest war correspondents
By Mark Baker
Published by Allen & Unwin
RRP $32.99 in paperback
When one thinks of war correspondents from the Gallipoli campaign the names of Charles Bean and Keith Murdoch come to mind. But alongside these two giants was a young journalist from the Melbourne Age, Phillip Schuler, who was destined to live a short but heroic life.
The son of Frederick Schuler, the editor of the Melbourne Age for 26 years, Phillip travelled to Gallipoli via Egypt with Bean and the 1st AIF. His time at Gallipoli was brief, only six weeks, but in that period he witnessed and reported on several key battles, notably the Battle of the Nek.
His evocative report of the battle led Bean to write, “He wrote only what he saw. His letters were true, and only those who knew what oceans of false stuff have been poured on to the world in this war can appreciate what that means.”
Upon returning to Australia, Schuler commenced work on his classic account of the campaign, Australia in Arms which was published in early 1916.
Frustrated by his inability to influence the thinking of the ‘powers that be’, he enlisted in the AIF as a regular soldier and served as a driver attached to the 3rd Division. Tragically at the tender age of 27, he was killed in Flanders in June 1917.
About the author:
Mark Baker is a former Senior Editor of The Age, editor of The Canberra Times and Managing Editor (National) of Fairfax Media. During 13 years as a foreign correspondent for Fairfax, News Corporation and the Financial Times he had postings in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Papua New Guinea. He covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was wounded while reporting the civil war on Bougainville in the early 1990s. He has also served as Political Editor and Canberra Bureau Chief of The Age. A former president of the Melbourne Press Club, he is now the Club’s inaugural chief executive officer.