Alastair Borthwick was born on February 17, 1913 and he passed away on September 25, 2003. He was an author, broadcaster and journalist. He began his life in Rutherglen and he grew up in Troon and Glasgow. He left Glasgow High School in 1929 when he was 16 to work on the Glasgow Herald. He went from the copytaker to being the editor of feature pages. After working on the paper’s “Open Air” page, he became interested in the climbing and hillwalking scene in Glasgow. He worked on articles about Clydebank and Glasgow’s working people traveling to the Highlands.
He began working on the Daily Mirror in 1935. As per wikivisually.com, his displeasure for the London lifestyle led him to return to Glasgow and become a BBC radio correspondent. A collection of his pieces from the Glasgow Herald was published in 1939 under the name “Always a Little Further.” T.S. Eliot insisted that the book be produced, despite the publisher’s doubt that it would appeal to the working class. The book has stayed in continuous print and it is one of Scotland’s best books about outdoor activity.
Alastair Borthwick was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer for the 5th Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders, during the Second World War. The Seaforth Highlanders saw action in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, North Africa, and Sicily. Borthwick stunned the Germans when he led a 600 man battalion behind enemy lines at night in the Netherlands. He wrote a book called “Sans Peur, The History of the 5th Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders” that was published in 1946. The book was critically acclaimed when it was printed again in 1994.
Borthwick moved to Jura with his wife after the war to broadcast for the BBC. His family moved to Islay in 1952 and back to Glasgow so he could help with the 1951 Festival of Britain. He produced 150 half hour television programs for Grampian TV in the 1960s. His family moved to Ayrshire in the 1970s. He eventually went to Beith to live in a nursing home before he died in 2003.