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Bishopscourt Characters and Stories: Monty

One of the more interesting families to live at Bishopscourt was the Montgomery family. The house changed considerably during a major building phase in 1889 in preparation for the arrival of a new bishop, Bishop Montgomery, and his family at the height of the British Empire.

One of the children, Bernard Montgomery (Monty), went in to become a noted British Commander and hero, but his early years in Tasmania are not so well known.

Field Marshall Montgomery of Alamein spent his childhood in Tasmania, and the ideas and attitudes he formed during those crucial years stayed with him all his life. He was the third son of Henry Montgomery, Bishop of Tasmania from 1889-1901. Monty went on to become the most successful British General of World War II. He never lost a campaign.

A Difficult Man

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (1887-1976) was one of Britain’s greatest ever military commanders, but it is also beyond dispute that he was one of the most difficult people to work with, a view that was certainly held by his American counterparts during World War II, namely George Patton and Dwight D Eisenhower. Montgomery described himself as being “tiresome,” and the epithet seems entirely apt.

Before World War II

Montgomery did not come from a typical British officer class background, being the son of an Anglican bishop who was reasonably well-off but by no means rich. Montgomery spent his formative years in Tasmania, leaving to complete his secondary education before going to Sandhurst.

At Sandhurst (the Royal Military Academy) Montgomery was the “odd one out,” especially as he was not afraid of questioning opinions with which he did not agree. Being both middle-class and independent-minded were not the best qualities for a career as an officer in the British army prior to World War I.

During the 1914-18 war, Montgomery served with distinction and was lucky to escape with his life after being shot in the chest by a sniper.

Between the wars, he attended the Army’s Staff College at Camberley, firstly as a pupil and later as a teacher of army tactics. He used this pause from active service to very good effect, as he had been horrified by the tactics that had been practiced during World War I and was convinced that there had to be a better way of fighting wars in the 20th century. In particular, he deplored the “gung-ho” tactic of attacking en masse with a superior force that was bound to suffer a high casualty rate even if it won the encounter. Instead, he preferred to reconnoiter the enemy and identify his weaknesses before attacking where he was most vulnerable.

Egypt and El Alamein

In August 1942 Lieutenant General Montgomery was sent to Egypt to take command of the British Eighth Army, which was threatened by the progress of Rommel’s Afrika Corps as it advanced across North Africa. Montgomery did two things that were different from what had gone before. He coordinated the forces under his command, namely those on the ground and in the air, and he made himself known among his troops, which boosted their morale and led to them being intensely loyal to him. He knew that soldiers who trusted their commanders were far more likely to be victorious, and he regarded high troop morale as “the most important single factor in war”.

On one occasion he was about to step into a tank when a soldier suggested that his broad-brimmed hat would get caught on the hatch and offered him a standard black beret in its place. Montgomery was for ever after proud to wear a soldier’s beret, on which he placed the badge of the Royal Tank Regiment alongside his officer’s badge.

The victory of the Eighth Army together with the Australian 9th Division at El Alamein was largely due to Montgomery’s superior tactics and his use of military intelligence (including decrypted German radio transmissions) to second-guess his opponent. He also tried to work out what Rommel’s tactics would be by understanding how the German commander’s mind worked. His ability to get inside the head of his opponent was one of Montgomery’s greatest strengths.

However, it has to be admitted that this victory, which many people (including Churchill) came to regard as the turning point in the War, went somewhat to Montgomery’s head, as he came to believe that only he had the right ideas about how the campaign should proceed from that point. In particular, he had a low opinion of the efforts made by the American forces under George Patton, whom he despised and mistrusted (the feelings were entirely mutual on Patton’s part).

The Italian Campaign

The next phase of the war was the invasion of Sicily, as the first step of the long Italian campaign. This was to be an allied attack, involving both British and American forces, but Montgomery was keen to ensure that the main credit for victory would go to him. Patton, for his part, had little time for Montgomery, whom he regarded as being arrogant, brusque and standoffish, and in this assessment he was not wrong. Patton could also not stand Montgomery’s tactic of meticulously planning every move, at one point calling him a “timid little fart”.

When the Americans captured Palermo, which Montgomery had wanted to do, the latter was highly annoyed. He agreed to meet Patton at Palermo and Montgomery planned to fly there in an American Flying Fortress that he had won in a bet. Patton gave an evasive answer when Montgomery asked if the runway at Palermo would be long enough to land such a plane and it turned out that it was not. Montgomery was lucky to escape unscathed when the Fortress ran off the runway and was wrecked. He had no doubt who was to blame for this incident.

The Invasion of Europe

During the invasion of mainland Europe that started with the D-Day landings in June 1944, Montgomery was again conscious of the need to be one step ahead of the Americans. Montgomery most resented the fact that Eisenhower was the Allied Supreme Commander and therefore his boss. Montgomery had been promoted to the rank of Field Marshal, which was not a rank used in the American army, and Montgomery assumed that this gave him overall permanent command of the ground forces in Europe, both British and American, which had been the case only on a temporary basis when the invasion was being launched.

Relationships between the two men continued to be fraught, with Eisenhower on several occasions having to appease Montgomery by letting him have his way in tactical matters. Sometimes this was a wise move, but not always.

For example, Patton wanted to advance against Germany via a southern route whereas Montgomery preferred a northern approach through the Netherlands. Eisenhower gave in to Montgomery, but the resulting campaign (Operation Market Garden) was, for once in Montgomery’s glittering career, a dismal failure.

As it happened, the Germans made things much easier for the Allies by attempting a counter-attack through the Ardennes Forest not far from where the bulk of the American forces under Patton were stationed. The Americans turned the situation to their advantage and forced the Germans back. However, Montgomery was later to claim far more credit for this victory than he was entitled to do, British forces having only played a minor part in the Ardennes campaign. Not surprisingly, this attitude infuriated the Americans.

Montgomery now wished to claim the ultimate accolade of capturing Berlin itself, as did Patton, but Eisenhower decided that it would be politically expedient for that honour to fall to the Soviet forces that were advancing from the East. No doubt he reckoned that for either man to have been able to claim that particular credit would have made them even more insufferable than they already were.

After the War

Patton died after a road traffic accident in Germany not long after the war ended, but Montgomery lived on into old age, dying in 1976 at the age of 88. His post-war work included helping to create NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that has done much to preserve peace in Europe and the wider world.

“Monty” never lost his popularity with the British people, and made a number of appearances in television documentaries, etc. in his later years, in which he was always keen to praise the bravery and devotion of the troops under his command while also making sure that credit went where it was due.

Bernard Montgomery had a remarkable talent for winning battles and planning campaigns, but along with that went the character flaws that made him a very difficult person to get along with, especially with regard to the military and political hierarchy. Winston Churchill, who had to be persuaded to appoint Montgomery to command of the Eighth Army prior to El Alamein, was famously quoted as saying of him: “In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable.”

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Guest Feedback - February/March 2018

Guest Feedback - February/March 2018

Superbe chambre ! Avec un toit ouvrant, qui a son petit Charme (a ne pas ouvrir en temps de pluie!!). L’espace est bien, la salle de bain est super. L’emplacement est très bien.

Rebecca’s hideaway accommodation was amazing. Place was exceptionally clean and the experience of sleeping under the stars was wonderful. Even though we didn’t meet, communication was easy with her and our check-in was fuss-free. Highly recommended!

Guest Feedback - February/March 2018

Guest Feedback - February/March 2018

  • Stunning, historic site, gracious and lovely host!
  • Everything was fantastic. Like everything. Beautifully kept and spacious rooms, luxurious bathrooms, lovely views over immaculate garden to the harbour and so so close to everything Hobart has to offer. This was our second trip where we stayed at Bishop's and we will definitely always try to stay here.
  • Nothing could have possibly been better.

Hobart's Endless Summer Rolls On

Tasmania in summer 2017-18: A warm season

Warm overall - Bureau of Meterology

  • Warm weather dominated for most of December and January, but there was a long run of cool days in February
  • Temperatures for all of the State were above average for summer as a whole, with many areas well above average

Guest Feedback October 2017

Guest Feedback October 2017

What a fantastic place! We both loved every minute of our stay, felt like we were at a architecturally designed luxury hotel with amazing spaces, linen, towels and details like underfloor heating.

Guest Feedback September 2017

Guest Feedback September 2017

What an experience! From the beautiful surrounds to the heated floors!! This was the perfect hideaway for our weekend away. Five minutes from everything we needed, it was almost a crime we hired a car.

Guest Feedback August 2017

What a lovely place to stay! The Schoolroom was beautiful and very comfortable. A lot of care has clearly gone in to the set-up of the accommodation. We particularly appreciated the cosiness of the heated floors as the weather raged outside. Rebecca was a wonderful host, and so thoughtful: she even left out toys for our baby!

 

Hideaway was everything we hoped for. A very unique experience and in a great location for exploring Hobart. Thanks Rebecca!

Guest Feedback July 2017

Rebecca's place is as rich in its history as it is in its modern comforts - heated flooring, electric fire and grand bath. It is cosy, comfortable and beautifully fitted out. Not to mention, 15/20 minutes walk from Salamanca and other hip and practical areas (supermarket etc.). Thank you for the fantastic stay and for your hospitality!

We absolutely loved our stay in this beautiful renovated apartment! Great neighbourhood and easy to get around with our car, not too bad to walk to town too. Will definitely recommend to our family and friends! Was a nice luxurious end to our little Tassie getaway!

Top 10 Things to Do in Hobart

Top 10 Things to Do in Hobart

Find world class art, convict history, pristine nature and award winning whiskey in theTop 10 list of things to do in Hobart

Hobart is a compact city, oozing with both modern and historic charm. Wander through colonial architecture and take in the vibrant energy of the creatives who choose to live here. Find pristine nature and artisanal produce, daring modern art and hip bars and restaurants. Hobart is a very special place. Tap into its eclectic magic.

Guest feedback: May 2017

Guest feedback: May 2017

Beautiful place, extremely clean. Everything has been thought of to make the stay comfortable. There is an iPad to search for restaurants, Sonos to play music, tea, milk and juice. The place is warm and very private. This is my first ever airbnb and the experience was seamless. The architecture felt like an episode out of Grand Designs. This place has been designed to host travellers and feels like a Lux hotel.

Guest feedback: April 2017

Guest feedback: April 2017

This is a great little getaway place. I highly recommend it. The room is really nicely set up with everything you need for a pleasant visit to Hobart.

This a lovely place to stay- very comfortable and well appointed with lots of thoughtful touches. It's easy to get around and into town and our host Rebecca was lovely.

What an amazing experience! Everyone needs to stay here! We haven't stopped talking about it. Well done guys a lovely way to spend the night and so affordable. 

Guest feedback: March 2017

Guest feedback: March 2017

The School House is divine! We stayed with two couples and it was very comfortable. It would also be ideal for a couple or even a family with children. The actual building, inside and out, is beautifully designed.

I don't even know how to describe this place, you just have to experience it! Such a cool little secluded space and YES with an opening roof at the touch of a button! Amazing. So easy to organise, great location, close walk to restaurants and pubs, great private outdoor chill area with a nice view...would definitely recommend.

Guest reviews: February 2017

Guest reviews: February 2017

I loved every second of my stay there. The retractable roof is amazing, the room is super clean, very quite, with good wifi and great music equipment. Restaurants and shops are at walking distance. And Rebecca is a very nice host. I totally recommend staying in this gem in Hobart!

Guest reviews: January 2017

Guest reviews: January 2017

A romantic stay at montys hideaway was everything we thought and more. High end is an understatement, a truly luxurious stay.

A special spot: very private and quiet yet close to the city centre, with a bonus of some wonderful history behind the property.

Quirky, modern, elegant.. .would stay again in a heartbeat. Great location, comfortable beds, fluffy towels. Everything is thought of. Thank you.

Guest Feedback: December 2016

Guest Feedback: December 2016

Rebecca's place is just fabulous. Couldn't be happier. Firstly, Rebecca was an excellent,friendly, timely, and very clear communicator, and made everything easy with no fuss. Secondly this historic place is beautifully appointed with the perfect marriage of interesting solid historic building but modern fit out eg beautiful spacious clean bathrooms with lovely fragrant soaps etc.

Staying at Rebecca's Historic Old School house was a fantastic experience. Rebecca was an outstanding host who made us feel very welcome.

This is a quaint and modern retreat that George Clarke would wax lyrical about. Great use of space to create and airy hideaway. The roof popping open in the morning was so relaxing. We just lay there looking up at the crisp blue Tasmania sky.

If you don't like outstanding architecture, dreamy beds and crisp linen, comfy leather couches and a groovy entertainment system, or tree-lined streets and water views, or strolling to restaurants, the MONA ferry and markets, then I'm sorry Tutor's Apartment probably isn't for you. But we like all these things and this little gem of a place delivered everything and more! Thanks for a fabulous long weekend.

A hike of wonder, down under

A hike of wonder, down under

Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula offers world-class walking trails and secluded beaches sure to enchant even the most modest trekker

Guest reviews: November 2016

Guest reviews: November 2016

  • Grace Lee

    모든것이 완벽 했습니다. 헤리티지 건물에 멋진 앤틱 가구가 깔끔하고 고풍스럽습니다.만족스러웠습니다.

    좋은 숙박에 머물게 되서 감사합니다. 아름답게 기억 될거예요

    November 2016

  • Peter Trewin

    Rebecca's place was lovely and very stylish. We enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Convenient position only a short walk away from Salamanca and battery point. My wife especially enjoyed the chilled music put on the iPad sound system. Also suited our little one who slept in the portable cot provided. Would recommend to anyone. Thanks Rebecca

    November 2016

  • Jack Douma

    This is truly a delight, a romantic getaway indeed. Rebecca and her husband Dermot were very welcoming and flexible with check-in, which helped us greatly.

    November 2016

  • John Gavin

    From the initial communication to the check out, staying in the Old School House was easy and relaxing. Rebecca was a great host making sure I had everything I needed. i would definitely recommend staying here.

    November 2016

  • Eugene Chew

    We had a great experience in Tasmania. Rebecca was present to meet and show us around the apartment. The Tutor's Apartment is clean, neat and very well furnished. I would say that Rebecca had her guests in mind when putting this place together. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a comfortable family stay in Tasmania.

    November 2016

  • Abbe Spaans

    This is the coolest Airbnb you'll ever find. A modern shipping container turned architectural marvel! All in the garden of a historic home. Heated floors and sunroof were phenomenal. Wish we could have stayed longer!

    November 2016

  • Damien Burgess

    Communication from Rebecca prior to arrival was excellent and she provided some suggestions for us for places to eat which was very useful. The accomodation was excellent and the location is perfect for the waterfront, Salamanca Market, nearby shops in Sandy Bay and the City. The sonos music system provided was a nice touch. Highly recommended if you are looking for a peaceful and/or romantic getaway with a touch of class.

    What Damien loved about your listing: 
    Stylish decor and central location

    November 2016

  • Graeme Jory

    Second visit to this property everything is thought of highly recommended

    November 2016

  • Charles Viney

    The flat has been beautifully renovated and it is really well located. It was spotless and we loved staying and would highly recommend a stay here. Thanks Rebecca

    November 2016

  • Pranav Sood

    Stylish, private and well-located: the perfect place for a weekend trip to Hobart. Highly recommended!

    November 2016

  • Jane Mcgregor

    We loved our week here. A perfect apartment for 2 couples. A gorgeous location with a million dollar view over the river. Rebecca made us very welcome on arrival and gave us all the information we needed to make our stay a success. A beautiful property with a fascinating history. Would definitely stay here again.

    November 2016

  • Kristen Miller

    The room was beautiful and the host was wonderfully knowledgable. Already want to come back!

    November 2016

  • Leo Luc

    We had a great experience in this compact and unique hideaway. Rebecca and her son were fantastic and welcoming hosts. The automatic opening roof and spacious bathroom was amazing. The included iPad, Apple TV, Netflix and Sonos were welcome inclusions

    November 2016

  • Amanda Pearce

    Cannot recommend this highly enough! Rebecca was absolutely marvellous, right from the outset. We were greeted and shown around the Old School House, with great guidance on where to locate all we would need, in the accommodation as well as locally for eating/shopping needs. The interiors are decorated beautifully, in a modern style which is considerate of the historical nature of the building, along with the modern addition. Everything was spotless and comfortable. The underfloor heating, walk-in shower, and free standing bath were great, and there is unlimited solar heated hot water. The little kitchenette is a clever set up, and tea and coffee were both available. There was juice, milk, and chilled water waiting in the fridge, which was a lovely touch. The TV is ready for all manner of entertainment, and the iPad mini with fast wi-if made internet tasks a breeze. Both a washing machine with detergent and a tumble dryer were available in the outhouse, parking was very easy, and the location quiet whilst also extremely accessible to the city and waterfront. We were travelling with our 6 month old, and the travel cot was made up ready for his arrival, as well as there being a highchair and appropriate eating paraphenalia. We simply cannot fault our experience, and are keen to return for another stay as soon as our next trip to Hobart rolls around.

    November 2016

  • Petra Salvatore

    What a stunning place to spend a two night getaway. We loved every minute. So private, modern and warm and the speedy wifi and sound system were an added bonus. Rebecca and Dermot were so welcoming, and went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable and knew about the best restaurants and attractions Hobart has to offer. Our favourite parts were the underfloor heating, luxuriously huge shower head and last but by no means least (actually the best bit) was waking up at 2am, opening the roof by the press of a button and feeling the cool breeze on our faces. Amazing. Doubt we'll ever use a hotel again.

    November 2016

  • Sharaf Khan

    The School House is a fantastic place to stay in Hobart. Excellent location and a beautiful home. Rebecca is a great host, very helpful and accommodating. Looking forward to staying there again.

    November 2016

  • Katie Sheppard

    I chose this home as a surprise for my boyfriends birthday, and it did not disappoint! What a surprise he got when Rebecca showed him the roof opened, and we had the chance to enjoy it (when it wasn't raining). Luxuriously decked out. Best shower ever. Rebecca was an absolute delight and I would recommend anyone to enjoy this unique experience!!

    November 2016

  • Jill Davies

    Rebecca gave us a warm and friend,y welcome, was extremely helpful from the outset, took time to explain everything we needed to know, had an information folder which was comprehensive covering everything from fire safety to dining options to the fascinating history of Monty's Retreat. She also took time to say goodbye and check out how our stay had been.

    What Jill loved about your listing: 
    This is a unique B&B situated in a glorious garden offering peace and tranquillity yet close to all that Hobart has to offer.

    November 2016

  • Xenia Taunt-Rivers

    Rebecca was a great host. She made my boyfriend and I feel very welcome and was great with communicating via email. The hideaway was beautiful and even better than the photos let on. Rebecca was very helpful in showing us nice places to eat and drink and allowed us to have a brilliant getaway on her beautiful property. Will be back next time we're in Hobart!

    What Xenia loved about your listing: 
    Thanks Rebecca, we had a beautiful time and really enjoyed the space. Best, Xenia

    November 2016

  • Al Chapman

    This is a great little place in a great location. There is nothing like lying in bed and looking up at stars. We would come back to this place anytime!!

    What Al loved about your listing: 
    Love the room.

    November 2016

  • Andrew Crawley

    We had a great stay at Rebecca's place. It is in a great location, comfortable and a great host.

    November 2016

  • Dominic Miller

    What an amazing place! Close to everything and with all the comforts you can imagine. We loved this place and will be back again.

    October 2016

  • Anna Young

    Could not have been happier with our stay at The Hideaway! Such a great space, the interior design is perfect and the retractable roof is AMAZING! It's private, quiet and the location is just a short enjoyable walk to Salamanca Place and Battery Point. Rebecca and family made us feel very welcome. Would recommend to anyone to stay here.

    What Anna loved about your listing: 
    Thank you Rebecca and congrats on creating such a lovely space for guests so stay in.

    October 2016

  • Mark Cheong

    Couldn't enjoy the sky view due to rain and clouds. But have the potential for a great stay. Wifi was great! And the place was beautiful!

    October 2016

  • Graeme Jory

    Nice modern appointed apartment in lovely tree lined street. Close to cbd if you don't mind a few hills. Highly recommended.

    October 2016

  • Jenny Egan

    Rebecca, was very friendly and professional in greeting us. Our experience went very smoothly and we could not have happier with our accomodation choice.

    What Jenny loved about your listing: 
    We loved everything about the "Bishop's Quarters.

    October 2016

  • Judith Barnes

    What a great spot in Sandy Bay so close to lots of restaurants just a nice walk away. The presentation of the apartment was great everything that we needed very tasteful and very modern. Loved the consistence heat of the under floor heating. Good walk to Salamanca market and restaurants . We will be back , loved our stay. Highly recommended . 10 out of 10
    Ian and Judy

    October 2016