Alastair Borthwick Leaves Literary Legacy in Scotland

Alastair Borthwick is remembered as a brilliant Scottish writer who had a range of literary abilities, including journalism, broadcasting and publishing books. He is featured as a historical figure in a detailed biography by Undiscovered Scotland.

Alastair Borthwick was born in Rutherglen in 1913 and also grew up in Troon and Glasgow. His first major literary job was when he was 16 years old writing in the Glasgow Herald. He started writing more extensively about average people exploring the hillwalking and climbing areas of the Scottish Highlands. He then began working as a journalist for the Daily Mirror in London but returned to Glasgow in less than a year to work as a radio correspondent for the BBC.

Given that he served for years in the Second World War, Alastair Borthwick was asked to write about his experiences on the battlefields as part of a history of his battalion. The piece was later published as Sans Peur, The History of the 5th (Caithness and Sutherland) Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders in 1946. Once the war was over, Borthwick moved to Jura with his wife to continue working as a broadcaster for the BBC. He stayed there for more than a decade before moving back to Glasgow to work on the 1951 Festival of Britain on behalf of Scotland. He would go on to produce about 150 30-minute television segments for Grampain TV during the 1960s. As per, this was his final major contribution of his literary and television career. Before he spent his final years with his wife in a nursing home, Borthwick moved to Ayrshire to enjoy the farm life. He was always a fan of nature and spent his personal time mostly outdoors to hike or walk. Borthwick’s respect for nature is reflected in many of his literary and broadcasting works.

More info: