A journalist, author, and broadcaster Alastair Borthwick lived a life filled with memorable moments that mark history. He was a Scotsman born in Rutherglen who penned two literary masterpieces. Borthwick lived his early childhood in Troon, teen years in Glasgow, left school early landing a job at sixteen for the Glasgow Herald. He gained a lot of experience in copy, and editing. At that time in Scotland there was a blossoming climbing and hillwalking scene that Borthwick wrote about for the Open Air section and in doing so opened this pastime to the masses.
1935 saw Borthwick land an opportunity with the Daily Mirror in London but its charm quickly wore off taking him back to Scotland as a radio reporter. He put together a compilation of work during his time at the Glasgow Herald penning the book “Always A Little Further’, in 1939 that became a surprise hit that endures today on the subject of outdoors activity of Scotland.
Along came World War II which injected Borthwick into its grasp as a commissioned intelligence officer of the 5th Battalion. His experiences shared with the troops overseas became great inspiration for the next book, historical in nature chronicling the Battalion’s experience. The book titled “Sans Peur” in 1946 was critically acclaimed and has been reprinted under different titles throughout the years. The most recent came in 1994.
When the war ended Borthwick and his wife Ann relocated to Jura combining the outdoors he loved of fishing and crofting with broadcasting for the BBC. Television became his next endeavor in the 1960’s for which he worked in production of numerous half hour programs for a local station. Finally the time came to slow down and Alastair made two final moves one to Ayrshire living on a hill farm and then finally a nursing home in Beith. He later died in 2003. His culture and legacy lives on in works enjoyed by so many.