Allegations of Abuse in Institutions

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Salvation Army Homes - Index



News Reports

(1) 2003 - August

(2) 2003 - Sept-Dec

(3) 2004

(4) 2005

(5) 2006
May 2005

The Salvation Army has received allegations of abuse that stemmed from childrens homes at:

1)              Hodderville Boys Home,

2)              Celia Whatman Home

3)              Bramwell Booth Childrens Home, Temuka

4)              Florence Booth Girls Home, Newtown

5)              The Grange, Remuera

Most of these claims related to historical allegations from the 1940s and 1950s

The Salvation Army has investigated claims and on this basis has offered compensation to complainants, that has been accepted by most..

The investigation by the Salvation Army has been done without involving the police.

The investigations have also appeared to have been largely carried out on a basis of believing the complainants - Alistair Herring "the complaints were quite frankly appalling to us". "A small number of people employed over the years have betrayed that trust," he said.

Regardless, this site says that the Salvation Army is setting an unhealthy precedent by making such payments in such a closed inquiry, and on the basis of unproven and untested allegations of abuse.

If the Salvation Army considers such abuse is real, they should make a formal complaint to the NZ Police, where such claims can be investigated, and if necessary be tested in a Court of Law.

If alleged perpetrators are either too old, or dead, and claims can not be tested, any payments made should be on an ex gratia basis on the clear understanding that the payment is not confirming belief or disbelief in any crime.


There are sufficient doubts about the reliability of at least one of the complaints (Gresham Marsh) to indicate that the Salvation Army are victims of fraud. The Army has set dangerous precedents for fraudulent claims of abuse in other similar historical accusations.
Oct 2006

Trial of John Gainsford for alleged offences at the Bramwell Booth home in Temuka. Gainsford admits to four charges of indecent assault, and pleads not guilty to 23 charges of indecency and rape


People involved

Salvation Army

           Shaw Clifton, Commissioner

           Major Alistair Herring, Spokesperson

           Colonel Robin Forsyth, New Zealand Secretary General

           Lieutenant-Colonel Garth McKenzie

           Roger McClay: Appointed by the Salvation Army to look into the allegations.

NZ Police

           Detective Sergeant Marion Neill, Timaru, investigating abuse at Temuka home

Identified Complainants

           Jan Lowe, Abuse Survivors spokeswoman - alleges physical abuse at the Celia Whatman home

           Fay Chase - alleges physical abuse

           Roy Skinner - alleges physical and sexual abuse

           Anita - alleges physical abuse

           57-year-old woman - alleges harsh physical punishment, then sexual abuse at Florence Booth Girls home

           Brent Aplin - alleges sexual abuse

           Peter Murphy - alleges physical abuse at Whatman House Masterton.

           Gresham Marsh, Murderer, compensated for alleged abuse at Hodderville Boys home. Marsh has also made similar allegations relating to his childhood with the Marsh family - which have been vigorously disputed.


           John Gainsford, for offences alleged at Bramwell Booth home in Temuka. Gainsford pleads guilty to 4 charges. On trial (Oct 2006) for 23 other charges he pleads not guilty to


           Sonja Cooper, a Wellington-based lawyer