Alastair Borthwick, a Celebrated Classical Author

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Alastair Borthwick was born in 1943 in Rutherglen. He died in 2003. Alastair grew up in Troon and later on, relocated to Glasgow. While growing up in Glasgow, Alastair attended Glasgow High School where he left at the age of sixteen to work for the “Evening Times” as a copytaker. His entry in the “Evening Times” heralded his long and successful career in the media and literature. Soon afterward, he joined a small newspaper, “Glasgow Weekly Herald” where he wrote on a variety of topics on children’s and women’s pages. He also designed the paper’s front leads and the crossword.

Alastair Borthwick was assigned the newspaper’s Open Air Page”, which required him to go outdoors to gather interesting and relevant information for the audience. Out of this experience, Borthwick made a wonderful discovery of Glasgow’s natural recreation marvel. He instantly developed an irresistible love for rock and mountain climbing-almost an addiction. As an author, it is not a surprise that most of his adventurous experiences ended up on a paper. Borthwick compiled his experiences to come up with an adventure story in his novel, “Always a Little Further.” The novel remains one of the most popular outdoor stories in Scotland.

Alastair Borthwick also served in the Second World War. He signed up for the 5th Battalion. During the war, Borthwick, alongside his colleagues would travel for many miles across Europe and North Africa. At the height of the war, Borthwick was consistently in the battlefronts. He also signed up for the Seaforth Highlanders as a spy. When war hostilities ceased, Borthwick wrote a memoir of the war experiences. The story was published in 1946 with the title, “Sans Peur, The History of the 5th Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders”.

Today, Alastair Borthwick’s war story is available as “Battalion: a British infantry unit’s actions from El Alamein to the Elbe, 1942-1945”. The book gives a graphic description of war experiences. The story describes how they narrowly escaped mines and shelling in North Africa, the close-quarter combat in Europe and the Snipers in Italy.

After the guns fell silent, Alastair Borthwick and his wife relocated to Jura where he acted as BBC radio host. They later moved to Islay and then back to Glasgow. In 1998, Borthwick moved to a nursing home in Beith where he died in 2003.

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