Alastair Borthwick: Writer, Broadcaster, Hero
Alastair Borthwick, the Scottish writer and broadcaster had an amazing life, often finding inspiration from the Scottish highlands and outdoors. His immense talents and unique ability to find something special in most situations helped to make Alastair’s life a unique one.
Born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire in 1913, he was raised in Troon, Ayrshire before eventually moving to Glasgow at the age of eleven. It was here that Borthwick got his start in journalism; he started working as a copy taker at the age of 16 for the Evening Times. With such a small staff for mass amounts of work, Alastair Borthwick discovered rock climbing as part of an assignment and fell in love with the great outdoors.
His writings on the subject, Always A Little Further, was published by Faber and Faber in the 1930s. Its lovable characters and witty humor will forever be recognized as a joyfully beautiful testament on outdoor living.
Mr. Borthwick joined the troops as part of the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders, eventually reaching the rank of captain. In one memorable moment in the Netherlands, he led his entire battalion of 600 men in single file fashion through enemy lines in the dark of night, surrounding the German troops as they woke in the morning (The Times).
After the war, Borthwick and his wife, whom he married in 1940, moved outside of the city; the family eventually settled in South Ayrshire in 1960, where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Alastair Borthwick continued work in writing and broadcasting, working in television in many different ways, including a series on post-war in Scotland. He wrote for over 150 programs throughout his lifetime with his favorite of the bunch a 13-part series entitled Scottish Soldier, which told stories from Scottish infantry regiments from the point of view of the infantrymen.
Alastair Borthwick was a man rich in talents, from writing literary classics to working in broadcasting and beyond. His immense love for the beautiful outdoors created a peaceful harmony for the man from Scotland. Borthwick died on September 25, 2003 but soon will not be forgotten.