The Tale of Alastair Borthwick- A Classic Author

Alastair Charles Borthwick was born on February 17, 1913 and died September 25, 2003. He was a journalist, author, and broadcaster. Mr. Borthwick is famous for his books, Always a Little Further (1939), and Sans Peur (1949) later republished as Battalion in 1994.

He was born in Rutherglen but grew up in Troon. Later on, he moved Glasgow, where he went to school. Alastair Borthwick attended Glasgow High school, and at the age of 16 in 1929, he moved to work on Evening Times. He later moved to the Glasgow Herald where he wrote on various topics and created crossword puzzles. It was through the Herald that he discovered ‘Open Air’ that detailed rock climbing in the Scottish Highlands. Alastair took interest and wrote columns on favorite activity before later publishing his columns in Always a Little Further. Mr. Borthwick has initially moved to work for the Daily Mirror, in 1935, but moved back to Glasgow to work as a BBC radio correspondent.

During the Second World War, Alastair Borthwick served in different units and different ranks in the army. He served as private in the Highland Light Infantry, then a second lieutenant, and lance-corporal. He mainly worked as an intelligence officer. In his service as an intelligence officer, he was promoted to the rank of a captain where he led a battalion against the Germans. It was after the war that he published his book, Sans Peur, a tale of war from the perspective of a junior officer hence the high acclaim.

At the end of the war, Alastair and his wife moved to Jura. Alastair continued to broadcast for the BBC. He also fished and practiced crofting. In 1952, he relocated to Islay before going back to Glasgow to help with the Festival of Britain. In the 1960s, Alastair Borthwick went back to work for television and produced 150 half-hour programs for Grampian TV. His programs covered a wide range of programs. In the 1970s, the couple retired to Ayrshire on a hill farm. Later on, Alastair moved to a nursing home in Beith before passing on, five years later in 2003. Get your copy of Life Among the Scots by Borthwick here.

More reading: https://www.birlinn.co.uk/Alastair-Borthwick/