Tag Archives: Glasgow Weekly Herald

Alastair Borthwick, a Passionate Writer, Rock-Climber Who Participated In World War Two

Alastair Borthwick possessed what anyone would describe as a rare talent in literary work. His book, “Always A Little Further,” published in 1939, was his first literary success. In this book, Alaistair Borthwick narrates their experiences as they wandered through the Scottish highlands. 

In 1946, Borthwick published another book, Sans Peur, but this time, his focus shifted to the final years of the 2nd world war. This book was reissued in the 1980s and 1990s but as Battalion

Alastair Borthwick was born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire. He grew up in Troon, Ayrshire. At eleven years, he moved to Glasgow and enrolled for high school studies. At 16 years, Borthwick took up a job as a copytaker on the Evening Times, before graduating to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. Due to understaffing, Alaistair took up other responsibilities such as writing and editing women and children film pages, letters to the editors, and would also respond to the readers’ questions. He was also responsible for compiling the crossword. 

It was through Evening Times’ open page that Alaistair Borthwick developed an interest in rock climbing. In 1935, Alaistair Borthwick went to London to work with Daily Mirror where he worked for only one year. Other companies that Alastair Borthwick worked with include Empire Exhibition and BBC. He loved radio broadcasting, especially on outdoor topics specifically in Scotland. Borthwick had an unmatchable talent for the spoken word. 

Borthwick’s adventurous spirit pushed him to participate in world war two. He offered his service mostly in Sicily, Western Desert, and Europe with the 5th Seaforth Highlanders of the 51st Highland Division. He rose through the ranks to become a captain, primarily working as a battalion intelligence officer. In 1945, Alaistair Borthwick led a battalion of 600 men in the Netherlands, at night through German lines near Venlo, in open country. By the time the enemy was waking up in the morning, the Seaforths had dug in behind them. 

When the war came to an end, Alaistair Borthwick and his wife Anne moved to the coast of Jura in a small cottage and settled there. They stayed there for seven years, during which they gave birth to their son Patrick. Borthwick worked with BBC for three years running a series on post-war Scotland, Scottish survey. He also ran a weekly column in the News Chronicle for several years. In the 1960s, Grampian opened its doors to him. He would script and present programs from a wide array of topics. He died at the age of 90 years.


The Triumphs of Alastair Borthwick

Alastair Borthwick was a writer, broadcaster, and even a journalist. You could say that he was a jack of all trades. Borthwick had a very special gift because he not only succeeded in one out of the three, but he was very successful in all three. Borthwick was a Scottish man that lived a very rich and fulfilling life while he was still with us. Borthwick was born on February of 1913 up until September of 2003. Borthwick faced many difficulties in his life and lived through many events that changed the world that we live in today. For example Borthwick served in the military for Scotland during the second world war. He not only served but excelled during his time and was fortunate enough to come back safe and sound to his family and loving wife. Borthwick was also an author and wrote a plethora of different books, but one of his most famous and successful writing’s would have to be, “Always a Little Further,” written in 1939. From the point that he wrote this book up until today in 2019 Borthwick’s work is considered to be one of the greatest books every written about any aspect of outdoor activities in Scotland. It is a very impressive and remarkable feat because his writing has stood the test of time and is still being read even after sixteen years after his death. However, as mentioned above Borthwick had to put his writing career on hold in order to serve his country’s military. While serving Borthwick traveled the world and served as an intelligence officer for the Scottish military. When the war had finally ended Borthwick got his writing started up again and proceeded to get a book published that recounted his experiences in the war and what the war was like for him personally. After this in the 1960’s Bortwick got his start in television where he was extremely successful producing over one hundred shows for Grampian TV. Soon after Borthwick tired of television he and his wife moved out to the country where they lived out their days peacefully on a farm. Borthwick should be remembered as a hero and a great inspiration to all.