Alastair Borthwick: A Hero And Writer

The world of mountaineering and climbing during the 1930s was chronicled by the writer, broadcaster, and journalist Alastair Borthwick who lived from 1913 to 2003. During this time, the sport was quickly gaining popularity among the working class of Europe who was looking for ways to stay entertained during a time in which unemployment was very high. The sport had been popular for many years, but it was considered something that was reserved for those who were part of the upper class.

These people wrote stories about the interesting and exotic locations that they visited while talking about the technical aspects of the sport itself. The approach that Alastair Borthwick had taken with the subject was something the world had not read before. While the elite featured the locations as the draw to read their books, he featured the experiences that he had and the many interesting people that he was able to meet during his extensive journeys across the landscape of Europe, Scotland in particular.

Some of the people that Alastair Borthwick came across during his journeys included tramps, hawkers, and tinkers who had grown accustomed to the skills long before people had started exploring them just for sport. There was a big social change that was taking place and he was able to document it in an honest and touching way that gave people a real idea of the people behind the stories. The writing style of Alastair Borthwick is known to be humorous and touching which is part of why it has become a classic today.

Over the years, Alastair Borthwick has written two books, Always a Little Further and Sans Peur. While Always a Little Further told the world about the beloved sport of mountaineering, Sans Peur covered the more serious subject of his experience serving in World War 2. He fought on the front lines of battles with his men as a junior officer who led a battalion behind the enemy lines to surprise Germany by digging up behind them overnight. His works have gone down in history as classics.

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Among-Scots-Alastair-Borthwick/dp/B000MU14SK

Alastair Borthwick, the Celebrated author, Broadcaster and Journalist

Alastair Borthwick remains as one of the most celebrated personalities across the world. The renowned writer, journalist, and broadcaster was born in Rutherglen. He spent most of his childhood days in Troon before his family later relocated to Glasgow. While in Glasgow, he attended Glasgow High School until the age of sixteen.

 

After High School, Alastair Borthwick secured employment with the Evening Times as a copytaker. His primary duties included recording statements as the field journalists relayed them to the news house. Later on, Alastair joined the Glasgow Herald. He worked in a team of five as a writer in a variety of favorite topics. His most significant pieces included the women’s page, page leads, children’s pages, and compiling of the crossword.

 

While still working for the Glasgow Herald, Alastair Borthwick became in charge of the newspaper’s “Open Air” page. To generate favorite topics for the page, Alastair had to venture outdoors and interact with Glaswegians, especially the fans of rock climbing and mountaineering. During his outdoor ventures, he discovered rock climbing, an outdoor sport which had been a preserve for the rich Glaswegians.

 

After several years of writing adventure stories for the “Open Air” page, Alastair compiled his materials to come up with his first novel, Always a Little Further. The book detailed the numerous adventurous escapades of young and daring Glaswegians in mountaineering and rock climbing. Most of the story describes the romantic experiences of the poor hitchhiking north, camping, and sleeping in caves. The book was first published in 1939.

 

Apart from writing and journalism, Alastair Borthwick was also a patriot. He served as a soldier in the British Army during the Second World War. He served with various army units in Sicily, North Africa, and Western Europe. He served at the rank of a captain and later as an Intelligence Officer.

 

Alastair served longest with the 5th Seaforth Highlanders, 51st Highland Division. Starting as a private soldier, he navigated through the ranks to become a second lieutenant and then a lance corporal. However, his time with the military was not always rosy. His side suffered heavy shelling and bombing from the German side. He was one of the lucky to survive the onslaught.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2003/oct/09/guardianobituaries.booksobituaries