Alastair Borthwick is a man who is remembered for writing two very popular but very different books. Each of his two main works have remained in print for a number of years, and they continue to be read as great examples of their genres to this day.
Alastair Borthwick was born in Rutherglen, Scotland. His family later moved to Glasgow where Mr. Borthwick attended high school. He left school and began working at the Glasgow Herald beginning in 1929. While working for this paper, Mr Borthwick began to write about hill walking in the Highlands of Scotland. He was particularly interested in interviewing working class people who were beginning to take up this activity which once was considered an activity only for the well to do. As a result of Mr. Borthwick’s articles, many more people began coming into the Highlands for weekend adventures.
In 1939, Alastair Borthwick authored a book entitled “Always a Little Further” which dealt with his experiences among the working-class people who were walking and climbing in the Scottish Highlands. Many consider this book to be among the best written about walking and outdoor activity in Scotland.
World War II saw Mr. Borthwick’s life and writing move in an entirely different direction. He became an intelligence officer with the 5th Battalion serving in North Africa and throughout the European continent during the course of hostilities. Mr. Borthwick wrote an influential history of the battalion with which he served called “Sans Peur, a History of the 5th(Caithness and Sunderland) Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders.”
When World War II came to an end, Alastair Borthwick and his wife Anne moved to Jura, and Mr. Borthwick began his association with the BBC. The later part of Mr. Borthwick’s life would be spent in the production of television programs. He would go on to produce over 150 programs for Grampian TV in Scotland. These broadcasts covered a wide variety of subject matter.
In retirement, the Borthwicks lived on a farm in Ayrshire. Alastair Borthwick was moved to a nursing facility before his death in 2003.
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