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Limited Edition 'THE GEM 1910' Tot glass. 

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of ‘The GEM’ disaster, the latest release from the local firm St Davids Gin sees a new Golden Rum available for purchase. Drawing on elements of the area’s history and character, they have created a distinctive and assertive new offering in the market. 

Surrounded by sea on three sides, the lives and livelihoods of the people of St Davids have historically been, and continue to be, intertwined with the unforgiving seas of the Atlantic. The men and women of St Davids lifeboat station, located at the nearby cove of St Justinians, provide essential safety for seafarers, voyagers and visitors, and have done so for over 150 years. 

‘The GEM’ Edition a Golden Rum is inspired by the story of one of these young men, Sidney Mortimer, who courageously led a rescue off the coast of St Davids in the middle of a violent storm on October 13, 1910, who was just a teenager. 

The Story of Sidney Mortimer:

The date is 13th October 1910. The stage, a stormy night amidst the infamous Ramsey Sound. This story however, belongs to the players...

When coal-bearing vessel DEMOCRAT signals for help, fifteen brave souls launch from St. Justinian's aboard ‘The GEM’, a 12-oared, sail-assisted lifeboat. Only twelve would return, alongside the three sailors successfully rescued. ‘The GEM’ was smashed against the notorious reef, aptly named “The Bitches,” and was lost to the sea along with three of her crew. The survivors clung to the rocks for fourteen hours, eventually drying a box of matches and setting ablaze their oilskins to signal shore.

Enter Sidney Mortimer, a young fisherman and Skipper of THE WAVE QUEEN, who more than made up in courage what he lacked in years. Leading a skeleton crew, he took to oar in his humble, 20ft fishing boat, making two trips in adverse weather conditions to bring the shipwrecked survivors ashore. Sidney would later be awarded the RNLI Silver Medal and would go on to become the RNLI's youngest coxswain, at the age of just 18.

He was also entertained by King George V (along with Samuel Guppy & Samuel Husk, his crew mates) to lunch at Buckingham Palace, where they received the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal from King George V himself.

Supporting the local community

St Justinians is also the launching point for many vessels to Ramsey Island, where the sale of St Davids Gin supports the RSPB in its conservation work on the island. In the same vein, sales from ‘The GEM’ Edition will support the work of St Davids lifeboat station.   

A donation of £4 for each tot glass sold will be donated to St Davids Lifeboat Station.

Tasting Notes

Aged in heavily charred virgin oak barrels, ‘The GEM’ Edition a Golden Rum delivers sweet notes of toffee and vanilla along with fresh cut oak and wood aromas. This results in a complex but subtle flavour profile with a definite fiery finish.

You can also purchase the Rum & artwork in person at St Davids Gin & Kitchen in St Davids, Pembrokeshire.