The life and times of Alastair Borthwick, Renowned Author

Alastair Borthwick was born February 17, 1913, in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire Scotland. His family later moved to Troon and then to Glasgow Scotland. He attended Glasgow High School. In 1929, at the age of 16, he found employment at the Evening Times as a copytaker. His career advanced, he later became an editor for the newspaper’s feature pages. Afterwards, Alastair Borthwick worked for the Glasgow Weekly Herald, where he compiled the crossword puzzle and wrote front page leads.

In 1935, Alastair Borthwick took a job at the Daily Mirror in London. This was a major leap in his journalism career. However, the London lifestyle did not appeal to Borthwick and this position only lasted a year. He returned to Glasgow Scotland and began his career as a BBC radio correspondent.

In 1939, Alastair Borthwick, published Always a Little Further, which was an assemblage of articles he had written encapsulating the mountaineering and rock-climbing grass roots movement by the working class and economically challenged residents of Glasgow and Clydebank Scotland. To this day, Always a Little Further is still one of the best sellers ever written about the hiking and mountaineering in the Scotland Highlands.

In 1940 he married Anne Corbett. Later in the marriage the couple were blessed with a son. Alastair Borthwick served in 5th Battalion in the Second World War as an Intelligence Officer. He saw action in Sicily, Italy, Germany, Holland, France and North Africa. When the war ended, Borthwick wrote the history of his Battalion in his popular book, “Sans Peur, The History of the 5th (Caithness and Sutherland) Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders”, published in 1946. This book is still in print and in 1994, under the title “Battalion: a British infantry unit’s actions from El Alamein to the Elbe, 1942-1945”, gained widespread critical acclaimed.

After the war, Alastair Borthwick worked as a radio and Television producer. He wrote close to 150 programs for Grampain TV on a variety of subjects. In the 1970s, the author moved to a small farm in Ayrshire, Scotland. He spent his last years in a nursing home in Beith, Scotland, where he died in 2003.


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