After schooling, he became a ship"s draughtsman before entering into the coal trade. Both defeated by the Labour politicians Marion Phillips and Alfred Smith in the general election of 1929, Thompson regained the seat in a by-election in 1931, following Smith"s death. He then held the seat alongside Phillips, briefly, and then with Samuel Storey.
Retaining the seat after the general election of 1931, he sat until the general election of 1935 when he retired.
Thompson was knighted by George V in 1934. Thompson was accidentally killed on 15 January 1941 in Sunderland, aged 73, according to Sir Cuthbert Headlam, Baronet.
On 19 October 1895, Thompson married Ann Trobe Potts (1869–1946) at Fawcett Street chapel, Sunderland. They had two daughters, Dorothy Trobe (1896-?) and Catherine (1900-?).
32nd United Kingdom Parliament. 33rd United Kingdom Parliament. 34th United Kingdom Parliament.
36th United Kingdom Parliament]
In the general election of 1922, Thompson was elected Member of Parliament for the two-seat constituency of Sunderland, alongside Walter Raine.