Alastair Borthwick was a known war veteran, broadcaster, and author. He served his country by joining the military and defending it during the world war. Borthwick also contributed to the country’s literature by writing and publishing two books which are now both considered as classics. Later on, Borthwick did the thing that he loved the most: working on journalism until his death.
Borthwick was born in Rutherglen, a small town in South Lanarkshire. However, he spent most of his childhood in Troon. He and his family would later move to Glasgow, where he attended the Glasgow High School. Borthwick left the high school in 1929 when at the age of 16, he decided to join the Glasgow Herald to work. At first, he was the one in charge of taking down answers from respondents through the phone. Later on, he was given the authority to post in the paper’s “Open Air”, where any topic can be featured. His topics revolved around hillwalking and climbing, which had drawn the interest of the working class people. Later on, Borthwick also wrote on the newspaper’s front page leads, in the crossword section, and both in women’s and children’s pages.
After working for a couple of years in the Glasgow Herald, Alastair Borthwick joined the Daily Mirror in 1935. This new job was a very big opportunity for him in terms of growing his career in journalism. However, because the London life did not appeal to him, he was back in Glasgow after a year. But instead of returning to writing in the newspaper, he decided to venture into another part of journalism and became a radio correspondent at BBC.
Four years later, Alastair Borthwick released his first ever book titled “Always a Little Further”, which was published by Fabers. The book is a compilation of classic tales of camping, hiking, and climbing during the 1930s. “Always a Little Further” succeeded in documenting the social changes that rock climbing and hiking have done to the country. The book is still currently published in Scotland up to this day and is one of the best books about Scotland’s outdoor activity. His career as an author will be put into a halt when World War II arrived in their country.
Joining the 5th Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders, Alastair Borthwick served as an Intelligence officer during World War II. He was deployed to a lot of places and fought a lot of battles, including those that took place in North Africa, Sicily, France, Holland, and Germany. Ultimately, he reached the second lieutenant rank in 1939. After the war, he was asked to write the history of the 5th Batallion, which he released in 1946, titled “Sans Peur, The History of the 5th (Caithness and Sutherland) Batallion, the Seaforth Highlanders.” It received positive feedbacks due to Borthwick’s brilliant idea of using the point of view of an infantryman for his story.
After the war, Alastair Borthwick and his wife Anne moved from Glasgow to Jura, where he found another job at the form of crofting and fishing while resuming his job at BBC. Borthwick helped during the 1951 Festival of Britain. During the 1960s, he ventured into television via Grampian TV, where he produced programs involving a wide range of subjects. The Borthwicks stayed in Ayrshire starting 1970s until 1998 where Alastair was moved to a nursing home at Beith. He died on September 25, 2003.