Banbury woman relaunches cafe with new name in memory of her grandfather - a World War Two veteran

A Banbury woman relaunched her cafe with a new name in memory of her grandfather - a World War Two veteran

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 5:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 10:46 pm
Sarah Heath has relaunched her cafe and renamed it - Henry's Cafe - in memory of her grandfather, Henry Arthur McGill, a World War Two veteran.
Sarah Heath has relaunched her cafe and renamed it - Henry's Cafe - in memory of her grandfather, Henry Arthur McGill, a World War Two veteran.

Sarah Heath took the circumstances given to her from the Covid-19 pandemic and officially relaunched her business with a new name called Henry's Cafe.

She hosted a grand opening on Saturday June 12 at the cafe previously known as Butlers Pantry in the village of Middleton Cheney.

For more information about the cafe located in the High Street of the village see their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Butlers10

Photos of Henry Arthur McGill, a World War Two veteran, on the wall inside the cafe named after him by his granddaughter - Sarah Heath

Sarah and her family moved from West London to Banbury in 2018. In May 2018 her grandfather, Henry, aged 97 passed away peacefully. She used a small amount of money left to her to buy and open up a cafe in Middleton Cheney.

She opened the cafe, Butlers Pantry, in spring 2019 and had to shut it after less than a year of trading due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having gone through several closures due to the pandemic the reopening brought with it several new improvements, including an outside area welcoming dogs, an ice cream counter, new furniture and a few other improvements.

Sarah renamed the cafe after her grandfather, Henry Arthur McGill, who was a World War Two Army veteran, and whose legacy she wanted to live on through the cafe.

Sarah Heath has relaunched her cafe in Middleton Cheney and renamed it - Henry's Cafe - in memory of her grandfather, Henry Arthur McGill, a World War Two veteran.

The Middleton Cheney and District Branch of the Royal British Legion organised a march from Cheney Court to the cafe in the village, which included a flag bearer and bagpipes as part of the opening of Henry's Cafe.

Peter Cook, the president of the local Middleton Cheney and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "We asked her if we could play some part in the re-naming, specifically because of her grandfather’s service with the Army during World War 2.

"We are passionate about maintaining the relevance of the act of remembrance through generations to come. With Sarah giving us the absolute privilege of helping her mark the renaming of her cafe, she is helping us to to do just that, which, to us, is the true spirit of the Legion.

Henry served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, or REME for short, and he served as part of the Guards Armoured Division.

Henry Arthur McGill who served in World War Two is pictured wearing his service medals

Peter wrote and read an obituary about Henry at the cafe's opening some of which said: "Henry went ashore on Gold Beach in Normandy in June 1944 just after D-day to join the battle of Normandy, which was to last until August that year and was to claim 22,442 allied lives.

"The Guards Armoured Division went on to courageously capture the bridge at Nijmegan, which is now a matter of history, and we think Henry’s service record also shows he was involved in the battle for the bridge at Arnham.

"There will be none who would disagree that those involved in that Battle for Normandy and beyond, were among the bravest of the brave, Henry included in that number.

"In his capacity as a veteran he met both David Cameron and Prince Charles, who each were given doses of Henry’s sharp wit and wonderful sense of humour.

Sarah Heath has relaunched her cafe in Middleton Cheney and renamed it - Henry's Cafe - in memory of her grandfather, Henry Arthur McGill, a World War Two veteran.

"But the proudest moment for him was when in 2014, on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the French Government announced that all British veterans who had fought and risked their lives for the liberation of France during the 2nd World War would be awarded the Legion de Honor, the highest French order of merit. Deservedly, Henry wore this medal alongside his other campaign medals with enormous pride.

"Sarah and her family remember and miss enormously not only Henry the courageous, brave Army war veteran, but they remember Henry the beloved, self-effacing, humble, loving family man, who told things how they were and with huge hands the size of shovels and a character to match.

"With a story such as Henry’s and his name emblazoned on this cafe, I think Middleton Cheney is a more enriched place."