Category Archives: Journalist

Alastair Borthwick: From Writer to Broadcaster

Alastair Borthwick became one of the most renowned storytellers from Scotland over the course of his life. He was born in 1913 in a small village in the Scottish Highlands. Early on in his life, he would move to the city of Glasgow Scottland. By the age of 16, he had dropped out of high school in order to pursue a career at the local newspaper. It was at the Glasgow Herald that he first developed his writing abilities. He would write about his experiences going into the Scottish Highlands and the people that he met on hikes. These stories would later be put into a book the first major publication of his which would be titled Always a Little Further. This book was put together with the help of the famous poet T.S. Eliot.

It was around this time that Alastair Borthwick joined the war effort as part of the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders where he would quickly become a Battalion intelligence officer. Over the course of the war, he fought through North Africa and into Europe and gained numerous experiences along the way. Just before the end of the war, he was asked by his army Col. to write a book about his experiences which he would publish called Battalion: A British infantry unit’s actions from the battle of El Alamein to Elbe, 1942-1945. The stories that he told in this book would put people into the heart of the action and it was widely acclaimed.

After the end of the war, Alastair Borthwick would take his wife and moved to the Isle of Jura where he would live for the next seven years. During this time they had a baby boy which they named Patrick. He also continued his career as a writer. He would later say that he always believed the ideal life was to write 1000 words in the morning and to catch a salmon in the afternoon. In 1952 he would move back to Glasgow Scottland before transitioning his career from writing to broadcasting. It was not long before he had a broadcasting opportunity from the British broadcasting channel.