Posts in Category: Radio Broadcaster

What Happened to Alastair Borthwick

The Scottish writer Alastair Borthwick was born in Rutherglen, raised in Troon, and moved to Glasgow with his family at 11. When he was 16, he dropped out of school to write for the newspaper industry. During his years writing and editing for the Glasgow Weekly Herald (1929-1935), Alastair research and wrote on many different subjects. It was while researching and writing about one of these subjects, that mountain climbing and enjoying nature became a lifelong passion. His resulting series of articles were, in turn, instrumental in encouraging the continued growth of the movement.

In 1935 he moved to London to write for the Daily Mirror but the following year he moved back to Glasgow to start working for the BBC. In 1939 he wrote and published his classic mountaineering novel, “Always a Little Further.” It was almost rejected by Faber, but T.S. Eliot, who happened to be on its board at the time, convinced them to do so. The following year he joined Scotland in its part in the war effort against Germany. He would fight in some of the fiercest battles throughout the war in its entirety. Even before hostilities officially ceased, he began work on a war memoir called “Sans Peur: The History of the 5th Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders.” 

It would be published just a few months after the war officially ended. It would be reprinted in 1994 with the title “Battalion: A British Infantry unit’s action from El Alamein to Elbe, 1942-1945.” It was also in that same year that Alastair and his wife, Anne moved to the remote Scottish island of Jura. In 1960 they moved back to the mainland in Ayrshire where they would live for the next 30 years. It was during the “60s that he gradually became involved with the television industry as a scriptwriter. Anne and Alastair both died in 2003, just three months apart.