While working at the Glasgow Weekly Herald in the 1930s, Alastair Borthwick developed a passion for mountaineering, climbing, and hiking. He climbed all over Scotland and shared all of his experiences in a newspaper column he wrote, Open Air. While other writers during that time wrote about the elite people engaged in these types of activities he chose to write about unemployed people who had recently taken these hobbies up because it was inexpensive and they had a lot of time on their hands.
The author ended up writing a book about his experiences in the hills and mountains called, “Always a Little Further”. He wrote in a very entertaining and humorous way and this book is still very readable today. He relates stories where he met tramps and others where naive beginners at these sorts of activities got themselves into trouble. Alastair Borthwick also wrote tales about hitchhiking across Scotland including one where he hitched a ride on the back of a truck filled with dead sheep.
He became a radio broadcaster in the late 1930s and proved to have a natural talent at it. He got this job at the BBC after an interview of him. During the interview, he started sharing a story of his climbing expedition the prior weekend during which time he treated the microphone like an old friend of his.
He served as a junior officer in World War II. Alastair Borthwick (@AlastairBorthw1) served in several battles such as the one at El Alamein. He eventually traveled over 3,000 miles in both North Africa and Europe. His battalion conquered Sicily and also invaded Italy. He also fought in German after his battalion crossed the Rhine.
As per thetimes.co.uk, Borthwick’s most memorable event in the war was the time that he led his battalion behind enemy lines. Alastair Borthwick and his men crept through the German lines without the use of a map because he said they were faulty. When the Germans got up at dawn they were shocked to see him and his battalion, the Seaforths, dug in right behind them and ready for battle.