Peter Kaim-Caudle (1916-2010)

Peter Robert Kaim-Caudle, the German Jewish refugee from Nazi persecution who became one of Britain’s leading sociologists (holding a chair at the University of Durham for many years), died on 18 May, aged 93.

Kaim-Caudle was best-known for his writings on social policy, in British, Irish and overseas contexts, including his influential book Comparative Social Policy and Social Security: A Ten-Country Study (1973).

However, through his two surveys of religion in the Billingham Urban District of County Durham in 1957-59 and 1964-66, he made an important contribution to the development of British religious statistics.

In particular, he undertook a systematic quantification of the three rites of passage (baptisms, weddings and burials – rarely studied in the round) in a community setting and carried out local censuses of church attendance, on both Easter Sunday and an ordinary Sunday in 1959 and 1966.

This research was partially written up in his three publications: ‘Marriages in Billingham’, Durham Research Review, Vol. 3, 1960-61, pp. 97-108; Religion in Billingham, 1957-59, Billingham-on-Tees: Billingham Community Association, 1962; and ‘Church & Social Change: A Study of Religion in Billingham, 1959-66’, New Christian, 9 March 1967.

Obituaries which have been noted to date are to be found at:

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