Willie Thompson (1939 - )

Professor, historian and Communist Party of Great Britian activist

Willie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and but brought up in Shetland. He graduated from the University Of Aberdeen in 1962 and moved to Glasgow in the same year when he also joined the Communist Party and the YCL (Young Communists League). 

Willie attended teacher training college before working as a teacher for three years and went on to study for his PhD at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, from 1966 to 1969. The subject was economic history and the title Commercial Connections between Glasgow and Africa 1870-1900. Following this he went to Wigan College of Technology in Lancashire, England, to lecture until he took up his position at the newly founded Glasgow College of Technology in August of 1971. He continued to lecture in History at the College for 30 years during which time the College became Glasgow Polytechnic and then, in 1993, Glasgow Caledonian University. Willie became a Reader and Professor of Contemporary History, specialising in Communist and related movements. He is well published in his given area. He retired in 2001 but continues to work on various writing projects and is a visiting professor at the University of Northumbria.

Willie's political activity within the Communist Party during the 1960s included branch secretary of the Glasgow Committee and Scottish Committee of the YCL 1962-1966; branch secretary Strathclyde students; Glasgow Committee and Scottish Committee; Scottish student organiser; National Student Committee member; and Wigan branch member, editing the journal Wigan Red. Willie had an editorial role in Scottish Marxist (1972-1980), Scottish Pensioner (1978-1982) and Marxism Today (1986-1991). He was a member of the CP Theory and Ideology Advisory Committee (1984-1986), member of the Scottish Committee (1986-1990) and Glasgow's Kelvin branch chairperson (1988-1991).


  • Biographical details provided by Willle Thompson