Alastair Borthwick’s reputation as a seasoned writer remains unmatched. Born on February 17th, 1913, the accomplished author consistently harnessed his craft to become a prominent broadcaster, author and journalist. But more importantly, he is credited with penning two exceptional novels that have remained classics and reverberated over several decades. Suffice to say, the wider picture in Scotland earned him substantial recognition and even featured in the Historical Timeline.
Born in Rutherglen, the young Alastair Borthwick bounced in various towns such as Troon and Glasgow before pursuing a formal education at the Glasgow High School. By 1929 and at a tender age of 16, the upcoming writer had already completed high school and a coveted job opportunity at the Herald proved too irresistible to ignore. His typical assignments revolved around making sufficient copies of incoming correspondents before moving on to the illustrious position of editor to various publications.
While executing his assignments with finesse, Alastair Borthwick stumbled onto the “Open Air” that required his unrivaled expertise. Unknown to him, this particular paper subsequently placed his credentials on the map by expounding on Glasgow’s thriving hillwalking and climbing scene, with a keen focus on the town’s middle-class sauntering into the Highlands for the weekends.
By 1935, Alastair Borthwick (@AlastairBorthw1) had become a household name in the literature world and even scooped a lucrative job on the Daily Mirror situated in Fleet Street. Regardless, he still found ample time to nurture his journalism career which undoubtedly proved to be a stepping stone to better things yet to come. As much as his career was peaking beyond unprecedented levels, the London lifestyle did not particularly appeal to him and moving back to Glasgow proved to be an essential decision. Back home, he had begun a career as a BBC radio correspondent.
With his writing skills proving to be a masterpiece, Alastair Borthwick grabbed the headlines by publishing “Always a Little Further” in 1939. The new novel served as a remarkable collection of previous narratives he had penned for the Glasgow Herald. Despite the initial reluctance by his publisher, Fabers, claiming the novel’s unorthodox approach was widely considered to be an exclusive realm for the rich; T.S. Eliot finally managed to convince the publisher that completing the task was the right move.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, Alastair Borthwick had been appointed into the 5th Battalion as an Intelligence Officer. With the new post, the seasoned journalist found himself traversing various countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and Holland collecting crucial intelligence needed to tip the war efforts to his employer’s side. By the end of the war, Alastair Borthwick had published a comprehensive novel titled: “Battalion; a British infantry unit’s actions from El Alamein to the Elbe, 1942-1945”.
With sunset years creeping in, Alastair Borthwick moved to a nursing home in Beith before passing on in 2003.