Milicent Dorothy Deakes

 

Born : 13th February 1895 -  Assam, India

Died : England

Married : George Horace Deakes - 1912, India ( George's 2nd marriage )

Children : 5 children ? ( Patrick Michael, Dorothy Mary,... )

Parents : Mary Eliza Hainworth & Edward Ernest Grange

Patrick Michael Deakes married Patricia Ann Murphy : Brandon Deakes

 

Milicent is possibly the first Western female to follow Meher Baba

Milicent spelt her name with one "l"

 
ENGLISH

 

Tea platations in Assam, India
Tea platations in Assam, India

 

 

Milicent Dorothy Deakes was the daughter of Mary Eliza Grange (nee Hainworth) She was born in Assam India 13th Feb 1895.  Milicent was a granddaughter of Mary Ann Rosamond Hainworth (nee Dixie).  A marriage was arranged for her to George Deakes who was 23 years older than her.  The marriage took place in India in 1912.  George & Milicent went to live in the Andaman Islands for some years, about 20 years and had 5 children together (George also had children from a previous marriage) they lived there until the Japanese invaded. 

 

ASSAM, INDIA

 

 

In 1931, a woman by the name of Milicent Deakes, who was at that time living in the Andaman Islands, took a trip to India to see Baba. For some time she had been corresponding with Chanji, and then one day she decided that the time had come to see Baba. Alas! Before setting out on this trip, she did not seem to think it necessary to find out if Baba would be available or even if He would see her. Therefore, when she arrived, she found that He was away. He was taking His first trip to the West.

 

A few years later she tried again, and again mistimed her visit.

 

When the second World War reached that part of the East, she was taken prisoner and spent the rest of the war in a concentration camp at Singapore.

 

As soon as the war was over, the British arranged for many of their nationals to go to regain health and sanity at some of the Indian hill-stations. Milicent was among them. After a time she found herself in Bombay, and at once the longing to see Baba reasserted itself. Again, instead of making an appointment, she arrived at Meherabad, where Baba refused to see her.

 

The poor woman went back to Bombay where, after a time, she received a message from Baba telling her to come to Ahmednagar, and that this time He would see her. She spent a short time with Baba, and then He sent her to have the evening meal on the hill at the women's quarters. Since we never had visitors, the housekeeper — Katie, I think — was in a difficulty. Our enamel plates by this time had not much enamel; the mugs — also enamel — were stained by strong tea; and the knives and spoons were at about the same level. The compound where we ate was, in the evening when she came, lit by hurricane lamps, the globes of which were held together by sticking plaster and which at intervals gave out strange sounds. Everyone had her own utensils which she washed and kept in a special place on a shelf.

 

Milicent Deakes did not take much notice of us. She was crying and continued to do so. Her mind was completely on Baba and her interview with Him. We barely existed. When we finally sat down to eat, she came back to the world, looked round at us and at the primitive arrangements, probably sensing a mild embarrassment on our part, then said, "Don't worry about me. I have just come from a concentration camp myself."

 

And just for one moment, we saw ourselves as the outside world might have seen us.

 

This was Margaret Craske's account of Milicent Deakes in her book THE DANCE OF LOVE, p. 158

1980 © Sheriar Press, Inc.

 

 

See below ( scroll down ) images that depict the events from her life from the above account.

PORT BLAIR, ANDAMAN ISLANDS

 

Capital of the Andaman Islands which is part of India

Port Blair, Andaman Island with the Cellular Jail - Prison in the fore-front
Port Blair, Andaman Island with the Cellular Jail - Prison in the fore-front

 

 

Another fortunate individual who had Baba's darshan at this time was a British woman named Milicent Deakes, 51. Milicent grew up in India and first heard of Baba in the late 1920s. She had been writing to Baba since the time of the Toka ashram. In 1941, she and her husband and son moved from India to the Andaman Islands where they had estates. In February 1942, she received a telegram from Chanji saying, "Baba would like to spend some time in the Andaman Islands." Milicent rented a secluded cottage for Baba in Port Blair. But just a few weeks later, Milicent and her family were interred in Singapore as prisoners-of-war by the Japanese. Though Milicent continued to write to Baba during that period, she received no reply. Three years later, in July 1945, her husband was killed in an accident in the camp. On the day of his funeral a postcard "quite by chance" arrived from Baba. In it, Baba informed Milicent that he had received all her letters and he told her, "All will be well. Be Brave. I am sending you my blessings." Baba's words were, of course, a great comfort to her.

 

One month later Milicent was released from the camp and sent to a hill station in India to recover. By January 1946, she was in Bombay, so she took the opportunity to request Baba's darshan, which he granted. But when Baba went into seclusion, Adi Sr. cabled Milicent not to come. She had already left and arrived at Meherabad on 19 January. Baba did not see her, but sent her up the hill to meet the women mandali. Milicent took it as a test and accepted Baba's wish. She spent the night at Khushru Quarters and returned to Bombay the following day.

Two weeks later, when Baba eased his seclusion, Milicent was written that she should come to Meherabad, at Baba's expense, where at long last she had her Beloved's darshan.

 

Lord Meher : p. 2520

 

ROSS  ISLAND

 

 

Milicent Deakes had also come to Madras. She was on her way back to the Andaman Islands. She was granted an interview, but was reminded of Baba's instructions not to touch him. After a long talk, she got up to leave: "As I came to his chair, Baba put out his hand and ran it down my right arm. There was a sudden shooting pain in my arm, as if I had been given an electric shock."

 

Milicent laughed and joked, "Well, Baba, that was quite as you wanted: I was not to touch you, but you didn't say you wouldn't touch me!"

 

Baba spelled on the board: "I did it so that that hand would be blessed. You will have to write and sign documents with your right hand [related to her property]. I wish you to write and sign what is God's will for you. The pain will soon pass."

 Lord Meher :  2569

Japanese Occupation of the Andaman Islands - 1942

 

 

 On Sunday and Monday, 3rd and 4th of August 1952, Baba met people in the morning from 8:00 until 11:00 and in the afternoon from 3:00 until 5:00 in room 46 of the Charing Cross Hotel. Besides his old British lovers, almost 200 new seekers came into his contact. Milicent Deakes had returned to England and also saw Baba.

One of the first couples who met him on the 3rd at 8:30 A.M., was Harry Thomas Hopkinson, 47, and his wife Dorothy, 49. Dorothy's coming to Baba had an interesting beginning nine years before in 1943. She was undergoing psychoanalysis at the time, when she started having extraordinary experiences.

 Lord Meher :  3122

Port Blair Prison, Andaman Is.
Port Blair Prison, Andaman Is.

Changi Prison, Singapore ( then Malayasia ) - WW2

 

 

 

On the afternoon of 18 July 1956, more than 120 people came for darshan in the large hall of the hotel. Will, Mary and Charles sat next to Baba, and Dorothy, Tom and Delia ushered in each one individually to meet Baba for one minute. To introduce newcomers, Fred Marks stood by the door with a royal blue sash across his chest like a steward. Baba distributed prasad of sweets and his photographs. Among those who came were Darius Hodivala,  Phyllis (who had met Baba years before at East Challacombe), Ann Powell, (Minoo Kharas' sister) Dina Patel and her son Hoshang, Margaret Craske's sister, Will Backett's sister, Joyce Bird and her family, Charles Purdom's wife Antonia, Milicent Deakes and Norman Franklin.

 Lord Meher :  3976

Prisoners-of-war in Changi Prison - WW2

1945 : Japanese surrender in Singapore
1945 : Japanese surrender in Singapore

The request ...

The reply ...

 

The above messages were courtesy of the Avatar Meher Baba Archives in Meherabad, India

The following is Milicent Deake's account of the Japanese occupation in the Andaman Islands and their later interment in Changi Prison in Singapore ( then British Malayasia ).

 

1952 ; Meher Baba visit to London - Charing Cross Hotel

 

Click on the button to visit the page

1956 ; Meher Baba visit to London - Reuben Hotel

 

Click on the button to visit the page

Poetry

 

A TALE OF VIPER ISLE

 

 By Dorothy Milicent Deakes

 

 

 “Once upon a time there lived a witch,

 

Of work she never would do a stitch,

 

She only was cleaver as casting spells,

 

And of her a tale, my poem tells.

 

Yes! she was a black Aborigine witch,

 

She lived in a cave, and thought herself rich;

 

She really was, insufferably proud,

 

She’d speak her mind out, quite aloud.

 

When she was hungry, she’d screech, and howl,

 

Then off on a snake-hunt she’d go with an owl;

 

For she was lazy, as lazy could be,

 

The owl used it’s eyes, so why should she?

 

Now, once whilst out hunting, they came to an isle,

 

It’s size was so small, scarce all of a mile;

 

Here they found o snakes a score,

 

(There may have been less, I cannot be sure;)

 

“I trust there are vipers amongst the bag,

 

I relish a viper, I do.” said the Hag.

 

Though searched they high, and searched they low,

 

Not a single viper was there to show;

 

The witch then fell in a terrible rage.

 

“Owl!” she screamed, “You’ll live here an age,

 

On you I’ll cast my evil spell,

 

“A Viper here, you shall henceforth dwell!”

 

 

 

Now, once again on a far-away day,

 

There came to this isle, so I’ve heard say;

 

A boat-load of sailors, whose business it was,

 

To seek out a site for convicts to lodge.

 

They found this wee islet enough for their needs;

 

Soon they had cleared it of jungle and weeds.

 

They built on a spur, a fortified jail,

 

Where effort to ’scape would not avail;

 

The houses and gardens of this bijou-isle,

 

Were the labour of convicts who worked in-file;

 

Now, You haven’t forgot? how once by a spell?

 

An owl turned viper, was forced here to dwell?

 

He lived here, and died here, if all be true,

 

Married a snake-wife, had children too;

 

These were a plague and dreadful pest,

 

To the Islander folk, who came from the West,

 

Wherever they went there were Vipers vile,

 

So “Viper” they named this fateful isle.”

 

Posted by Zubair Ahmed

 

 

RED LETTER DAYS

 

(Island Festival in 1920s)

 

 

 By Dorothy Milicent Deakes

 

 

 “An Annual Event we’d celebrate,

 

On two warm February days,

 

‘Twas then a revel from early to late,

 

Most wonderful of Holidays.

 

On the grounds of Aberdeen’s Gymkhana Club,

 

A mushroom-growth would appear,

 

An embowered-pavilion, which was the hub

 

Of the wheeling-throng that steered

 

Their way around gay booth, and stall,

 

To view the goods displayed,

 

The varied exhibits agricultural,

 

Of every class and grade.

 

 

 

“To view the show at it’s very best,

 

One would early wend one’s way,

 

All togged-up fine in gala-dress,

 

For those were “Red Letter Days“;

 

First a visit to the Rotunda Hall,

 

A bamboo-pandal stage,

 

Where, growing plants divide each stall,

 

Bedecked with richest foliage.

 

From the centre there, in branching aisle,

 

The various sections were ranged,

 

There! in their stalls the cattle docile,

 

There! the lines of poultry caged.

 

 

 

In the Cattle-Hall, were Bulls and Cows,

 

Calves, Buffaloes, Goats.

 

There were contests for milking, and Wielding the plough,

 

Good prizes of which to boast.

 

In the Poultry Lines were Cocks and Hens,

 

Fine Geese, Turkeys, and Ducks,

 

Prize-birds strut proudly within their pens,

 

Their owner’s deserve their luck.

 

Now we’d turn to the Garden-Stalls,

 

Showing Vegetables, Fruit, and Flowers,

 

Inviting, cool, and scented-withall,

 

On these our panegyries we’d shower.

 

 

 

In the section for Crops, both root and seed,

 

There were Paddy, Millet and Dhal;

 

Sea-Island Cotton, Coffee, and Tea,

 

Their qualities finest of all.

 

While growing there to demonstrate,

 

Were Ginger, Turmeric, Tobacco,

 

“All second to none”, the prize tickets state,

 

Not excepting the Sweet-potato;

 

The Coconut, not last nor least,

 

That, is the Planter’s wealth,

 

The “betel” too, the eye doth greet,

 

High praised their robust health.

 

 

 

Full many exhibits of Industry,

 

Beginning with Chatham’s wood;

 

Thence on to the Cottage weavery,

 

Of fabrics varied and good.

 

“Wimco” Matchsticks, and veneer-ply,

 

The Judges had not forgotten,

 

A local-made Boot and Shoe Stall, nigh,

 

Snakey-ropes of coir, and cotton.

 

Goods of Mother-o-pearl, Tortoise-shell;

 

Works of Art, Crotchet, Knitting;

 

The prize-cards silently tell,

 

Of care, and work un-remitting.

 

 

 

Here was a section, devoted to Health and Welfare,

 

The Medico’s had employed;

 

Where, by example, and chart, they declared,

 

“How to gain health, and sickness avoid.”

 

A “Baby Show” too, they’d ably run,

 

On point and merit, the prizes award,

 

Here, each Mother brought, her daughter, or son,

 

Prime favourites were most adored.

 

Your interest now amply proved,

 

For refreshment you’d betake,

 

To the tables, where tea freshly brewed,

 

Vied for favour with tartlets and cakes.

 

 

 

Having seen the exhibits, you would next day view,

 

The Side-Shows, and Games of Skill;

 

There were Coconut-shies. A Snake-Charmer too,

 

With such pastimes and morning you’d fill.

 

From after-noon, till near sunset’s fall.

 

There were Sports, on the Gymkhana field,

 

Where Contests, and wagers would you enthral,

 

And great the pleasure they’d yield.

 

‘Ere the winners were called to claim their prize,

 

An apt speech the Commissioner’d give

 

And, long after the applause and cheering died,

 

This event in your memory would live.”

 

Posted by Zubair Ahmed

 

This is from an unpublished anthology by Dorothy Milicent Deakes, who was in Andamans and had left just before the Japs invaded the Isles. The collection was presented by her grandson, Keith Wilson.

 

 

Elephant in the Andaman Islands swimming
Elephant in the Andaman Islands swimming