America Out of Doors

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January 12, 2019

Alastair Borthwick: A Renaissance Man

Alastair Borthwick was a man of many talents, utilizing his gifts in several different ways. He had his breakthrough literary masterpieces, specifically Always A Little Further (1939) and Sans Peur (1946); Always A Little Further, a memoir inspired greatly by Borthwick┬┤s love of the oudoors and the Scottish highlands, was the writer’s first literary success. Sans Peur, different but equally poignant, tells the tales of the final years of World War II. Borthwick was a unique and enjoyable human being.
Born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire in 1913, he was raised in Troon, Ayrshire before eventually moving to Glasgow at the age of eleven. It was in Glasgow where Alastair first got his start in journalism. He started as a copy taker for The Evening Times and moved on to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. Still a teenager, Alastair Borthwick found the staff at the Herald to be quite thin, forcing him to cover many different columns and work in copious amounts of topics. It was here that he discovered his love for rock climbing that was the genesis behind Always A Little Further. His career was put on hold when Borthwick joined the Scottish troops in World War II.
Alastair Borthwick joined in with the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders, eventually reaching the rank of captain. One memorable night for Borthwick came when he led a group of around 600 men in single file fashion through enemy lines to surround the sleeping German troops in the Netherlands.
After the war, along with his wife who he married in 1940, Alastair moved to the country. It was here where he felt alive, finally settling in South Ayrshire in 1960, where the family lived for the rest of their lives.
Alastair’s rich talents brought him into broadcasting, where he wrote for over 150 different programs. His favorite of them was Scottish Soldier, a 13-part series that told the stories of Scottish infantry regiments from the point of view of the soldier. Alastair Borthwick died on September 25, 2003, and will be forever remember for his wealthy talents and love for the outdoors.

Learn more about Alastair┬┤s life and publications at https://gazetteday.com/2018/12/recounting-life-alastair-borthwick/

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