Alastair Borthwick: The Life of a Legend

During his 90 years earthly sojourn Alastair Borthwick was able to use his talent to the best of his ability. Writing a classic in any one field is often not an easy achievement and few people manage to do it. Alastair Borthwick, however, wrote classics in more than one field beginning with Always a little further in 1939 and then wrote Sans Peur in 1946. In the 80’s and 90’s the Sans Peur was reprinted under the title Battalion and it brought him even more fame.

The successful writer began his career when he was 16 having moved to Glasgow to for his high school education before which he had lived in Troon Ayrshire. At 16 he began working as a copywriter for the Evening Times after which he was promoted to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. The Glasgow Weekly Herald was understaffed and as a teenager, he edited or wrote the children’s, women’s and the film pages. He also answered reader’s questions and inquiries and dealt with the letter to the editor.

It is not possible to worry and sweat at the same time as Alistair Borthwick once noted and his book Always A Little Further was viewed as a statement to this. The idea of rock climbing came to him via the newspaper’s open-air page and the material he wrote on the subject was picked up by Faber and Faber. The book combined humora, memorable characters, and suspenseful moments and very vivid description to produce a delightful book. He married Anne and their son was born on the island of Jura.

After working at the Empire Exhibition for a time he moved on to the BBC and later enlisted and was in the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders he rose to the rank of Captain. He and his wife lived in South Ayrshire after moving from Islay. For a number of years, he wrote different types of programmes for the Grampian TV up until 1960.

About Alastair Borthwick

Alastair Borthwick was born in 1913. He worked as a writer and radio broadcaster for most of his life. He passed on in 2013 at 90 years.