The Salvation Army: Bradley Institute

The Salvation Army

Bradley Institute

The Bradley Institute was founded in 1926 by Major James and Captain Bennett of the Salvation Army. It is located near the village of Madziwa, Mashonaland Central Province, about 100 km northwest of Salisbury (Harare) and 32 km north of Shamva. A central boarding school was soon opened for boys; girls were accepted later.

Bradley has had an acute water problem from its very inception that has threatened closure many times over the years. Even after a dam was built for the school, the water was muddy. During the tenure of Lt Col Gaughey Gauntlett, 1953 – 1962, the school was able to drill deep wells to produce a supply of water. Gaughey also arranged for building water storage tanks, which have been important as the water table sank. Nonetheless, Bradley was closed 1964 – 1966 due to severe water shortage.

In addition to Lt Col Gauntlett, other missionaries at Bradley have included Captain Jean Wylie (as of 1948 – 1949); Major Margretta Nelson (Headmistress as of 1954-1955, during which time the institute consisted of a boarding school for 200 boys); and following departure of Gauntlett in 1964, Major Hafford, who was soon replaced by Captain William Evans.

Bradley Institute was closed in 1976 during the Bush War in Rhodesia by authorities who feared the school would be a breeding ground for “terrorist.” At time of closure, the school was a primary boarding school teaching from Standard 4 to Standard 6. In addition to basic academics, the school also taught building, carpentry and agriculture. Bradley reopened in 1980 as a mixed boarding school and upgraded to a secondary school, Form 1 to Form 4 (“O” level). Captain Brian Knightley (with his wife Dorothy and daughter Helen) was Superintendent as of 1981 – 1984. During his tenure, enrollment increased from 220 to 320.

The mission currently consists of the Bradley Institute Secondary school.


  • Mark Loomis