The Fascinating Life of Alastair Brothwick

Alastair Borthwick made his entrance into the world on February 17, 1913 in Rutherglen, Scotland. He lived there until his family moved to Troon and then Glasgow in his teenage years. Although he entered Glasgow High School, it wasn’t enough for him, so he dropped out at the age of 16. He got his first job at Glasgow’s Evening Times and then moved on to the Glasgow Herald. He became a writer with this last paper in a very short amount of time.

Alastair Borthwick became acquainted with many people who hiked in the Scottish Highlands on the weekends. At this time, hiking was seen as an “elite” activity, but it was growing in popularity, and Alastair discovered that he enjoyed it. Borthwick began to write about hiking with the average person in mind, and he began to compile his adventures in the Scottish Highlands for future literary purposes.

In 1935, Alastair Borthwick moved to London where he was offered a job at the Daily Mirror, but he didn’t remain there long. He moved on to other jobs within the media and became a scriptwriter for the BBC.

In 1939, Alastair published “Always a Little Further” that was all about climbing in Scotland during the 1930s, and it was seen as a classic. The famous writer and poet T.S. Eliot gave Alastair a hand when he decided to turn his many stories about climbing into one volume. Scottish readers enjoyed this book for several decades.

During Word War II, Alastair joined the fight and spent his time successfully extracting the Germans from Northern Africa. Alastair’s colonel asked him to write about his experiences, and he jumped at the chance. This work became “Battalion: A British infantry unit’s actions from the battle of El Alamein to Elbe, 1942-1945.” It was hailed as an “outstanding book” by Max Hastings of the Daily Telegraph.

After the war, Alastair continued to write, but he also began a second career as a radio and television broadcaster. Eventually, he and his wife Anne moved to a nursing home in Beith. Alastair spent five years there until his death in 2003. He was 90 years old and had lived a long and glorious life.

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