The memorial is a colourful paper roll of honour, which was presented to Private Ernest Bake in honour of his service in the First World War. It was given to him by the Advance Bonville Branch No. 9278 of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, of which he was a member.
The page is displayed in a simple timber and is located in the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum. The museum describes the decorative elements on the memorial as follows:
The top is decorated with two flaming torches and the whole is edged with foliage wrapped in brown ribbon. The main image features an eye looking down on a scene containing three women, possibly representing Mary, Britannia, and Lady Justice. Mary holds baby Jesus, with two lambs at her feet. Britannia holds a mirror and is flanked by two lions. The eye represents 'all seeing God'.
The memorial was made by S.T. Leigh and Co., a large printing company established in 1852 in Melbourne, Victoria. The company provided printed rolls of honour, in the same style as this memorial, to the Oddfellows and many examples can be found throughout NSW. This roll was made by the company's Sydney branch, as inscribed on the bottom left corner, which opened in 1853.
The origins of this memorial are unclear. It is possible the roll was presented to Bake at the branch's Lodge room or the Bonville Hall on or around 24 October 1919, as per the date on the page. Bake had returned to Bonville by this time, as he was presented with a medal at a welcome home function at the hall on 29 August (Daily Examiner, 9 September 1919).
The memorial has since been moved to the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum. Access to the roll is restricted to the opening hours of the museum.
Ernest Bake was a single farmer from Bonville via Coffs Harbour. He enlisted on 3 January 1918 in the 13th Battalion, 26th Reinforcement. His unit embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A54 Runic on 22 March 1918. As a Private in the 13th Battalion, he served in England and France. He returned to Australia on 1 July 1919 on the 'Frankfurt' and disembarked on 20 August 1919.
GRAND UNITED ORDER OF ODDFELLOWS
NEW SOUTH WALES
ROLL OF HONOUR
BRO. E BAKE
ADVANCE BONVILLE BRANCH
in recognition of services rendered to
KING AND COUNTRY
in the WORLD'S GREATEST WAR
Bonville 24th October 1919
S.T. Leigh and Co., Sydney