Alastair Borthwick was a Scottish broadcaster and author who lived from 17th Feb 1913 to 25th Sept 2003. He was born in Rutherian and raised in Troon before relocating to Glasgow. He pursued his studies at the Glasgow High School, prior to starting his profession at Evening Times when he was hired as a copytaker. Later, Borthwick joined the Glasgow Weekly Herald, where he wrote different pieces on various topics including children’s pages, front-page leads, and crossword compilation.
Borthwick discovered rock climbing while he was writing the”Open Air” for the Herald. He focused on the activity in his articles leading to a publication of his first book, “Always a Little Further” which was published in 1939 and that documented the social change. It has remained a classic since publication, and since the time, there are several copies that were printed.
During the Second World War, Alastair Borthwick worked with various British Army units in Western Europe, North Africa, and Sicily. He started at the Highland Light Infantry serving as a private officer in 1939 where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and later lance corporal because of his OTC experience. He also worked as an intelligence officer, rising to the rank of captain. In 1941, he was transferred to the Reconnaissance Corps, and to the fifth Seaforth Highlanders in 1944.
Alastair Borthwick, most crucial moment came from the Netherlands where he led the 600-men Battalion towards the end of the war using his sense of direction, since the directions from the maps were faulty. The Germans were shocked in the morning to find that the British dug closing the gap. Borthwick wrote his second book Sans Peur, and after the war, it was reprinted in 1994 as Battalion – documenting the history of the Battalion during the war. The book was highly acclaimed since he wrote it from a junior officer publication, differentiating it from previous publications that were written by retired generals or committees.
Borthwick served as radio and television broadcaster for the rest of his career, presenting and writing on different subjects from Bonnie Prince Charlie to Joseph McCarthy. In 1952, during the New Year Honors, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), recognizing his participation preparation of the engineering exhibition in the Festival of Britain.
More info about his first book: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/title/always-a-little-further/author/alastair-borthwick/