Crosses For Losses

Alastair Borthwick – Experiences Transformed in Classics

A very influential and successful journalist and broadcaster, the Scottish Alastair Borthwick is remembered for both of his very prominent books, “Always a Little Further” and “Sans Peur.” His two works are considered classics in the Scottish literature, with his second book being his Magnum Opus.

Born in 1913, the Scottish journalist was born in Rutherglen but lived in Troon for most of his childhood, later moving to Glasgow, where he attended high school. After Alastair Borthwick left high school at the age of 16, he went to work on the Glasgow Herald, where he first worked as a copytaker for the page “Evening Times.” Eventually, he became an editor and gained a small amount of popularity.

Alastair became the editor of the page “Open Air,” where he would get the inspiration for his first book, “Always A Little Further,” which discussed the practice of rock climbing and the fact that it was becoming a popular sport among the young working class. Hillwalking was the theme of his book, and he wanted to capture the nascent culture of the practice among poor people with few resources. His book was published in 1939, a continuation of his already very popular columns at Herald’s “Open Air.

At Glasgow Herald, the writer also had the duties of writing at the Glasgow Weekly Herald, where he would write about a variety of topics.

After his involvement with Glasgow Herald, he began working at the Daily Mirror, located in Fleet Street. He didn’t stay there for long, opting to instead return to his previous firm to work at a BBC radio correspondent.

Alastair Borthwick’s life as a journalist, editor and writer continued until World War 2, where the effects of the global war influenced the subjects discussed at Glasgow Herald and most of the global news at the time. Borthwick went to serve in the WW2, being part of the British Army in North Africa, Sicily, and Western Europe. Borthwick worked both as a private in the Highland Light Infantry but was later changed to the second lieutenant.

With the experience he had with the British Army and his involvement, he wrote his second book, “Sans Peur,” a regiment story that became very famous and is a classic of the national literature.

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