The passing of broadcaster and author Alastair Borthwick on September 25, 2003, impacted many people around the world who knew him personally or who had enjoyed his work that includes the books Always a Little Further and Sans Peur. One of the reasons why these books that were published by the Scottish author who was born in 1913 was because they managed to capture the humanity in the experiences that he chronicled. While Always a Little Further is a book that was published in 1939 about the world of climbing in Europe, it didn’t just speak about the sport itself. Alastair Borthwick shared with the world the experiences in climbing that he had with the many people that he met along the way. While he may have only met some of them in passing, their impact will forever be chronicled in his work.
Always a Little Further is considered a classic in the genre, but Sans Peur became a classic as well as it told the story of World War II from the true perspective of someone who served on the front lines. While war is always going to be terrifying, Alastair Borthwick managed to describe the humanity and brotherhood that was found in one of the darkest and most terrifying situations that the world has ever faced. While Sans Peur was first published in 1946 after he had returned from the war, it was republished under the name of Battalion many years later in 1994.
Despite both books being decades old, they are still put into publication quite often and are both seen as important works in their respective genres. While those who aren’t familiar with the sport of climbing may not understand the cultural impact that it had at the time, its impact on society was significant. When Alastair Borthwick was first introduced to the sport, it had still mainly been seen as something that the well off were known to do but it was becoming something that almost anyone could enjoy despite financial limitations.
Alastair Borthwick lived a life full of adventure and fun times. He was a jovial and naturally creative writer whose work has transcended the oceans of time. Born in 1913, Alastair Borthwick lived in Troon as a young child and later on relocated to Glasgow where his career in journalist blossomed. He dropped out of school to pursue his passion for journalism. At this stage in life, Alastair Borthwick realized that the best place to begin his career was at a then-popular media company called Glasgow Herald.
Starting his career at the young age of 16, allowed him to grow steadily through the ranks and he was soon appointed to the post of editor. During his time in the company, he gained interest in an upcoming sport that had tongues wagging. It had become a frequent occurrence for the wealthy population of Glasgow to venture into the rough terrains of the highlands. They would engage in rock climbing a sport that is known to get one’s adrenalin going. A lot of his content was focused on this sport and the many aspects and areas it was practiced.
After a few years working at the Glasgow Herald, Alastair Borthwick decided to jump ship and start working at the Daily Mirror. At the time, this move would have been considered a step in the right direction, but for Alastair Borthwick, it simply did not cut it. He soon decided to follow his heart and go back to writing for Glasgow Herald. Around the same time, world war two was becoming a reality in many parts of the world. Alastair Borthwick was commissioned to join the army as an intelligence officer. As the conflict spread through most of Europe, Alastair Borthwick was part and parcel of the struggle until the end of the war.
After the war, Alastair Borthwick relocated together with his wife to Jura a small town in the highlands. This was, however, not the end of his adventures as soon after, he moved to Islay before deciding to go back home to Glasgow, where he continued to work in the media industry.