Journalist, Author, Historian, and War Hero: The Life of Alastair Borthwick

It would likely surprise modern rock climbers, campers, and hikers to know that like Polo those activities were once considered to be hobbies reserved for the wealthy. Such was the case in 1939 Scotland until “Always a Little Further” by Alastair Borthwick was published. Always is based on a series of articles on the growing popularity of camping, hiking, and rock climbing among Scotland’s less affluent citizens that Borthwick had written for the Glasgow Herald.

“Always a Little Further” is a humorous account of the unique situations and colorful characters that Alastair Borthwick encountered during his own outdoor excursions. Still available Always has been in print continuously for nearly 80 years. The poet TS Eliot was so impressed with Borthwick’s writing that he intervened when the publisher expressed doubts about releasing the book.

Born February 17, 1913, in Rutherglen, Scotland Alastair Borthwick attended Glasgow High School until dropping out at the age of 16, immediately embarking on a career in journalism. His first job was with the “Evening Times” as a copytaker recording information field reporters called in. Next, Borthwick joined the staff of the Glasgow Weekly Herald. He wrote on a variety of subjects for the Herald and served as their cruciverbalist.

When World War 2 began Borthwick joined the Highland Light Infantry. Having been an Officer Training Cadet in high school he rose from the rank of private to captain. Primarily an intelligence officer Borthwick distinguished himself in the Netherlands. He led 600 members of the 5th Seaforth Highlanders on a night march around the enemy lines enabling the 5th to entrench themselves behind the Germans.

“Sans Peur” (Without Fear) is Alistair Borthwick’s acclaimed history of the 5th Seaforth Highlanders. In the 1990’s the book was reprinted under the title “Battalion”. Borthwick also compiled a historic timeline of Scotland covering the years 1900-1950.

For the rest of his working life, Alistair Borthwick was a broadcast journalist on BBC television and radio. He remained an outdoorsman until moving into a skilled nursing facility in 1998. The final page on the life of Alistair Borthwick was written September 25, 2003.

Check out these books written by Alastair Borthwick: https://www.amazon.com/Alastair-Borthwick/e/B001KDDV8E