CHURCH officials are trying to trace descendants of a couple buried in a Lower Gornal churchyard following the collapse of a grave that dates back nearly 100 years.

The grand old grave sits at the top of the churchyard of St James the Great Church.

The memorial on the grave appears to for Isaac Bradley, who was born in 1884 and died on November 22, 1929, aged 45. A second memorial at the site is to Hannah Bradley, Isaac’s wife who was born in 1881 and died in April 1965.

According to official records, the couple had two children. John (1906-71) who married Doris Whitehouse and died in Torbay, Devon; and Isaac who died in 1958.

The Diocese of Worcester is now trying to trace any descendants of the couple before taking steps to close the grave.

Dudley News: The collapsed grave in the churchyard of St James the Great Church, Lower Gornal.The collapsed grave in the churchyard of St James the Great Church, Lower Gornal. (Image: Diocese of Worcester)

Patricia Hyde, churchwarden at St James’ Church, said: “We need to make every effort to trace the family before the grave can be closed and so would be very grateful for any help that anyone can give us.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese said: “We also know that as a child, Isaac senior lived with his parents at both the Bulls Head, Himley Road, and the Old Bulls Head, Red Hall Road, and at the time of his death in 1929 he lived in Merry Hill, Wolverhampton.”

If anyone has any knowledge of the descendants of Isaac or Hannah Bradley they are asked to get in touch with Father Gary Hartill on 01902 881357/07809 218558 or the churchwardens on 07502 082300 or 07737 600541. If no further information is received by Friday April 28, steps will be taken to close the grave.

In the meantime, barrier tape has been placed around the memorial and visitors to the churchyard are advised to avoid the area.