Alastair Borthwick was born in Troon, Ayrshire. After high school, Borthwick started working as a copytaker before he was promoted to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. Due to the limited staff, Borthwick had many tasks at hand including compiling the crossword, responding to readers questions, and editing some film content.
Alastair Borthwick read about mountaineering in the newspapers. He used some of the material from the open air page to write his book Always a Little Further. Borthwick was so interested in the leisure activity that he started spending his free time climbing the hills.
In 1935, Borthwick moved to London to work for the Daily Mirror. He left the company after a year and started running a press club. He later joined BBC. During his interview at BBC, James Fergusson commissioned Alastair to talk about the mountaineering subject for fifteen minutes. This was the start of his journey in broadcasting and was regarded as a great speaker.Alastair Borthwick spent much time mountaineering on the Scottish highlands. He was motivated to join the war effort against the Germans. He rose through the ranks until he was the Captain. The main task of the Captain was to serve as the battalion Intelligence officer. Borthwick served with several units in Western Europe and North Africa including the 51st Highland Division.
In 1944, Alastair Borthwick was promoted to work with the 5th Seaford Highlanders. It was in this division that his talents were most utilized. Despite the darkness and the inaccurate maps provided, Borthwick led 600 men to battle against the Germans.
Alastair managed to write books in two different fields. One of the books was Always a Litte Further. Faber initially rejected the book due to its unique style of writing. However, T.S. Eliot, a member of the board of directors, loved the humor and adventure in the book and insisted it should be printed.Unlike his first book, the second book, Sans Peur, is based on the battle. He wrote it after the war. The book captures all the experiences and events Borthwick went through during the war. Since he had excellent writing skills, he was able to paint a vivid picture on the brains of the readers with words.
Alastair Borthwick died in 2003. He will forever be remembered for his mountaineering adventures and his input at war.