Command and Staff College,
Quetta, Pakistan

Monty House (College Museum)

b1The College Museum is housed in a historical bungalow, old 48 Shahrah-e-Staff College (SSC). The house was built in 1905 as a residential accommodation for Directing Staff. Colonel B L Montgomery, destined to go down in history as Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, resided here as Senior Instructor from 6 June 1934 to 28 June 1937. It was in this house that Mrs Montgomery sat knitting the night before the fateful day of the devastating earthquake of 1935. However, from 1937 it was converted into student officers' accommodation. The idea of converting old Montgomery House into a Museum was floated in 1976; however, it was materialized in 1978. The rooms were suitably renovated and furnished, and the house divided into wings. The house was named 'The Monty House' in June 2016, with a room dedicated to the belongings of the distinguished Field Marshal. The Museum was formally inaugurated by the President of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia ul Haq on 16 May 1979 on the eve of College's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Museum holds a vast repertoire of historical documents, artefacts, furniture, trophies, weapons, uniform items, medals and antique paintings. It also features memorabilia depicting various stages of evolution of the Staff College.

In 2003, an extension block to the Museum was added as an expansion project to house some additional items of historical significance. This new block, Slim Hall, has been named after the celebrated College alumnus, Field Marshal Slim.

The Museum comprises of various Galleries, Halls and Rooms. At the entrance of the building “Paintings and Shield Gallery” is beautifully adorned with rare paintings, historic pictures and unique shields of various units and formations, both Pre-independence and Post-independence. Quaid-i-Azam’s address to the officers of the College during his visit, delivered on 14 June 1948, along with his exquisite painting is also displayed in this gallery.

b1The “DS Hall” contains portraits of British Royalty, a few old crockery items of Officers’ Mess of the early years, antique medals, relics, portraits of foreign dignitaries of the past, few rare gifts presented by various distinguished guests, a unique photo of three Field Marshalls, Montgomery, Wavell and Auchinleck. A photo of Lord Kitchener, founder of the College, is also walled in this section. Three small show cases containing old foundation bricks manufactured in 1901, 1903 and 1905 add to the historical richness of this Hall.

Monty’s Study Room has been furnished in memory of Field Marshall Montgomery, who lived in this house from 1934 to 1937. It contains some personal belongings of the Field Marshall which include few books from his personal library, study table and a chair, a desk clock and his scarf.

In the Commandants’ Room, one can view photographs of all Commandants, starting from Brigadier A W L Bayly to Major General Sarfraz Ali under whose stewardship this great Institution has flourished over the past hundred and thirteen years. A showcase contains the belongings of 1st Commandant, Brigadier Bayly. Some badges, shoulder ranks and a uniform of 1st Pakistani Commandant, Major General M. A. Latif Khan are also placed in a showcase. A historical office table and chair, used by former twenty-nine commandants also attract the visitors to this room.

Students’ Hall contains photographs of distinguished graduates who rose to the rank of four star generals. A portrait of Field Marshal Ayub Khan (Staff Course 1941) is also placed in this Hall. Uniforms of two Shuhada officers, Lieutenant Colonel Janjua and Lieutenant Colonel Fazl-e-Haq are also hung in showcases. Old record of the College and old visitors’ books are placed in a cupboard. In one section of this Hall, Blamey's Corner has been established in the memory of Captain (Later Field Marshal) Thomas Albert Blamey (24 January 1884 - 27 May 1951) who graduated from the Command and Staff College Quetta in 1912-13. He was the first Australian officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal. At the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of graduation of Field Marshal Thomas A Blamey, Vice Chief of Australian Defense Forces, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, inaugurated the Blamey's Corner on 16 August 2013. He presented the personal cane and picture of the Field Marshal for Blamey's Corner in the College Museum.

Chief Instructors’ Room is another unique feature of the Museum which contains the photographs of all Chief Instructors. An office table and a chair used by the former Chief Instructors are also placed here, which speak of the glorious past of the College. This room also includes a uniform of Lieutenant General S.F.S. Lodhi, some shields, a helicopter rotor and a miniature model of US Missiles presented by Lieutenant General A. I. Akram.

The Faculty Four’s Gallery is adorned with portraits of those faculty members of the College who rose to the coveted rank of four star generals.

b1The Armory Gallery displays pistols of 19th and early 20th centuries, which exhibit a mix of western technology and the dexterity of local craftsmen.

In 2003, an expansion block to the Museum, named as Slim Hall, was added to house some additional items of historical significance. This Hall has been named after the celebrated College alumnus, Field Marshall William Slim. This displays group photographs of Staff Courses from 1949 upto date. Formal dresses in vogue in the past, shields and insignias, photo album rack, scrap books and audio visual equipment which remained in use in the earlier days of the College are also displayed here.

Updation and maintenance of the College Museum started in September 2019. New water connection was provided and water storage was also added. An old dry cedar tree has been converted into an attractive dry decoration to preserve its presence. A new office for the OIC Museum was established. Planned works include the construction of a new washroom for the visitors, replacement of old curtains with blinds, installation of sprinklers in the lawns and digital preservation of old record.