Alastair Borthwick was an author and broadcaster who was born in Rutherglen, Scotland. He was born on February 17, 1913, and he was a student at Glasgow High School after his family moved to Glasgow to find work. He left school when he was 16, though, and joined the Evening Times where he was a copytaker. He used this experience to get a job at the Glasgow Weekly Herald which had just five staff members including him.
At the Glasgow Weekly Herald, Alastair Borthwick was an author and wrote about many topics. He also completed both the women’s and children’s sections of this newspaper and created its crossword puzzles. One of his most popular columns was called Open Air. He wrote about outdoor activities including rock climbing which was becoming increasingly popular at the time. He also wrote about hitchhiking across Scotland and camping in caves. These types of stories were also written about in the first book he wrote in 1939, Always a Little Further.
Alastair Borthwick served in World War 2. He was in the British Army and served in Western Europe, Sicily, and North Africa. He started out as a private and was slated to be a commissioned second lieutenant but for reasons unknown that didn’t happen. In 1941 he became a lance-corporal and served as the intelligence officer for a battalion. He became a captain and then a lieutenant.
His largest feat in World War 2 came in October 1944. He was leading a battalion of 600 soldiers behind enemy lines without any map because all the ones they had were inaccurate. When the German army got up the next morning they discovered that his battalion had dug in right behind them.
He wrote his second book after the war was finished. Alastair Borthwick wrote Sans Peur which is the French word for a battalion. He wrote about the regiment he served in during the war and unlike just about every other book it was from the eyes of a junior officer rather than a retired general or a committee. He spent the rest of his career as a broadcaster on the radio and television.
More info about Alastair Borthwick: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7954898/alastair-borthwick