A NEW gin, made in Royal Wootton Bassett which celebrates the town’s history and connections with the armed forces, was launched on Saturday to commemorate a soldier who took his own life.

The drink, called Dauntless, is made by the Royal Wootton Bassett Gin Company, and was given a “soft”, local launch as part of the gin festival at the High Street’s Cross Keys Inn. Part of the profits from sales of the product will be donated to charity.

Telling the story behind the new venture, the company’s managing director, Andy Carr, said: “My family has got military connections, and my nephew was in the army. He went to Iraq and came back suffering from post-traumatic stress order.”

“Unfortunately, he took his own life.”

Wanting to do something in memory of his nephew, he decided to create a gin. An initial plan to call it Heroes gin was thwarted by a trademark dispute.

“I thought about what epitomised the military and Royal Wootton Bassett, and that is how we got ‘Dauntless’,” said Andy.

The name of the company presented a second hurdle to overcome: as it contains the word 'Royal', he required special dispensation from the cabinet office to have it listed.

The gin is packed with military links, including blue and white poppies among the 14 botanicals it contains.

Andy said: “The company philosophy is that we want to use local ingredients as much as possible.

“We’re using English wheat to make the alcohol. It’s a superb taste and you can drink it neat. And, if you over indulge, you don’t get a blistering hangover the next day.”

Initially launched on a local basis, while any early teething problems are rectified, the gin is due for wider release at the Swindon Gin Festival, on September 29 and 30.

When it hits the market, with an anticipated retail price of around £35, two charities are set to benefit: 10% of profits will be donated to Help For Heroes, and another 10% will go to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, which support the UK’s nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants.

Putting the product together has required a collective effort, and Andy has been pleasantly surprised by the support the venture has received from people around him.

“We’ve got all the design work done for nothing. My accountant is working for half his usual rate, so everyone is working together to get this going," he said.

"It’s a real team effort.”

The mayor of Royal Wotton Bassett, Steve Bucknell, who was at the launch, said: “The first time I heard that Bassett was getting its own gin, I thought that’s absolutely fantastic: another string to the town’s bow.

“When I heard more about what he was doing, with the poppies for remembrance and 20% of profits going to charity, it was even better. Plus, it’s a great tasting gin!”