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Alastair Borthwick was a Scottish broadcaster and author whose book recorded the popularization of hill climbing as an activity for working-class sport in Scotland, and the Second World War from a perspective of an infantryman.
Alastair Borthwick was born in 1913, in Rutherglen but raised in Troon and later at the age of 11, he and his family moved to Glasgow, the place he also attended high school. At the age of 16, Borthwick dropped out of school to become a copytaker for Evening Times. Promptly, he graduated to Glasgow Weekly Herald, a small newspaper, which due to the limited number of staff, Borthwick was tasked to handle several tasks which included writing and editing film pages related to mothers and children, edited letters to editors, compiled crossword and also gave responses to readers queries.
One of the most significant moment in his career at Glasgow Heralds happened when he was invited to be part of Open Air page. It was in here he discovered about rock climbing, an activity that traditionally was for the well off, but it was becoming growing popular to the ordinary young folks. Borthwick recorded the hiking events in this page, and later he used them to compile his first book Always A Little Further that was published in 1939.
In his book, Alastair Borthwick described the encounters with tramps, hawkers, Irish travelers and funny hitchhiking events such as the encounter of the journey to Ben Nevis in the back of a lorry with a flock of dead sheep. The book was almost never unpublished; when Borthwick offered manuscript to Faber and Faber who initially declined it because they were unsure of the unusual subject. Luckily enough, T.S. Eliot who was the publisher director at that time insisted for its publication, and since then the book has never been out of print.
After the Second World War broke out, Borthwick signed in for British battalion who were fighting against the Germans. Alastair Borthwick’s significant roles occurred in North Africa, Sicily, and Northern Europe. Alastair Borthwick served with diligence and passion a way which won him the position of captain for the battalion working as the intelligence officer.
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