The Life And Times Of Alastair Borthwick

Alastair Borthwick (1913- 2003) was a Scottish journalist, author, and broadcaster. He was born in Rutherglen and spent the earliest part of his life in Troon and Glasgow. As a teenager, he attended Glasgow High School but dropped out at age 16 to work for the Glasgow Herald. At the Herald, Alastair rapidly rose to become the editor of the ‘Open Air’ feature pages. It was this experience which introduced him to hillwalking and climbing. He later wrote articles about people from Clydebank and Glasgow who went hill climbing on the weekends.

In 1935, Alastair Borthwick left Glasgow for a job with the Daily Mirror in London. However, he did not favor the London scene and soon abandoned the job in 1936 to move back to Glasgow as a BBC correspondent

In 1939, Alistair published his first book “Always a little further’ which was a collection of articles he had written during his time at the Glasgow Herald. The book has remained in print since its publication.

When the second world war began, Alastair Borthwick was commissioned into the 5th Battalion where he served as an intelligence officer. He was highly involved during the war and witnessed combat in North Africa and Europe.

At the end of second world war, Alastair wrote and published the history of his battalion as “Sans Peur, The History of the 5th (Caithness and Sutherland) Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders”. This book was very popular and was reprinted in 1994 under a new title “Battalion: a British infantry unit’s actions from El Alamein to the Elbe, 1942-1945”.

At the end of the war, the writer and his wife, Anne moved from Glasgow to Jura where he still worked as a broadcaster for the BBC. He left Glasgow in 1952 for Islay but soon returned for the Festival of Britain.

In the 1960s, he embraced television programming and produced up to 150 half-hour programmes for Grampian TV.

The 1970s saw Alistair and his wife moving to a farm in Ayrshire. Alastair spent many years on this farm until he moved to a nursing home in Beith where he spent his last years.

Alastair Borthwick on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/public/Alastair-Borthwick

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