Alastair Borthwick, born on 17 February 1913 in Rutherglen, was a successful Scottish author and broadcaster. He was raised partially in Troon and Glasgow. His writing career started when he joined the Glasgow Weekly Herald, a newspaper, where he wrote on the Open-Air page. He discovered rock climbing, an activity that was becoming increasingly common among the Glaswegians.
His first book, Always a Little Further, was published in 1939 after being Herald’s Open-Air page writer for some time. The book helped the Scottish people to appreciate the mountains and be participative in climbing as Scotland is enriched with an amazing and beautiful scenery of mountains. As a result, most people, particularly those unemployed, found joy and interest in walking to the mountains and taking in the unending elegance of nature. This created a climbing mountain movement that started the formation of climbing clubs around Scotland.
Alastair Borthwick was not only interested in the actual mountain climbing but also adventure aspects such as, the personalities and emotions of the people doing the mountain climbing.
Alastair Borthwick was a man of many talents. He was also a radio and television broadcaster and made a career out of writing and presenting programs. However, in the start of the second world war, he chose to serve his country as a private in the Highland Light Infantry. He was a part of a Seaforth division, a British Army Unit, that served in North Africa, Sicily, France, Holland, Italy, Germany and also in the Western Europe.
In 1941 he worked as a Battalion Intelligence Officer where he was responsible for the navigation component. His incredibly courageous and significant service of fighting for freedom, justice, and human decency achieved him a rank of captain and later promoted to war substantive lieutenant of the Reconnaissance Corps.
After his service, Alastair Borthwick was commissioned to write a history of his battalion in the war. This was his second book, Sans Peur, later republished as Battalion, authored from a perspective of an officer who fought on the front line and highly acclaimed for making his country proud.