111Alastair Borthwick was an acclaimed nature writer and broadcaster. He was born in Scotland and became a writer when he was just 16 years old. His life included writing two literary classics, serving in World War II, and decades as both a radio and television broadcaster. He died at age 90 after achieving national fame.
At age 16 he joined the Evening Times in Glasgow and then the Glasgow Weekly Herald. Since this newspaper had just five employees he was put to work writing multiple features, answering letters to the editor, news articles, and creating the crossword. This newspaper had an open-air page and it was through this that he developed a lifelong passion for rock-climbing and being out in nature.
His first book, Always A Little Further, was published in 1939. In this book, he shared his adventures in nature. Other nature books of the time were pretty dry. His books were lively with comedy, interesting characters, and situations. 15 years later, Alastair Borthwick wrote Sans Peur which detailed his experiences in World War II. This book was as acclaimed as his first one by critics and readers alike.
He moved to London in 1935 and before long became a BBC radio broadcaster. He is best-known for talking about the outdoors but he covered other topics as well. He was very talented at this and nobody listening knew he was reading as he talked. When the war broke out he returned to Scotland and enlisted. He was eventually a captain and served through to the end of the war.
Alastair Borthwick had married just before entering the military. After the war was over, he and his wife moved away from the city to the coast of Jura. They lived in a small cottage for seven years and had a son there, Patrick. During this time he worked for the BBC as a radio broadcaster. He also wrote for the News Chronicle. In the 1960s, he signed with Grampian TV and produced programs covering a wide range of subjects with his best-known one program being Scottish Soldier.