Can anyone here decipher the middle line on this German gravestone from WWI? I'm assuming that it's his unit designation. He was the lone German (that we found) at the Commonwealth cemetery in Pozieres and would be interested to know more about him.
Delurking from RP. Have you already looked on Ancestry? I have just found him on a casualty list from September 1916, but there do not seem to be any other records on there. I have saved the image as a PDF, let me know if you want me to email it to you.
The R at the front is always for reserve units. Infanterie Regimenter I.R and Reserve Infanterie Regimenter R.I.R.
R.J would fit a Reserve Jaeger Batallion. The was never an 84th Jaeger Bn, but there was a 5th and German "Kompanien" were often numbered as independant units, like our artillery.
If it was the 84th infantery regiment it would be listed as "84te Infanterie Regiment (Von Manstein)" & "84.I.R" for short. The Germans use precedence in their numbering, you often see lists with Div/Bde/Regiment or Bn in that order.
The 5te Reserve Jaeger Bn was raised in Goerlitz under the wing the 19th Infanterie Regiment who's Garrison it was. In 1916 the 19th were on the western front at Verdun and thereabouts, up to their usual dirty tricks, our falling plate style reservist may well have been one of their bolt-ons.
Pozieres was attacked on 23 July 1916 and taken on the following day. Louis Kopp died four days later. That might infer that he died of wounds in an Australian or British casualty clearing station and was buried with other fatally wounded.
Just followed up on that via google and come up with this:
The order of battle of the 18th Reserve Divisionwas as follows -
Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 31
Großherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 90
Schleswigsches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 84
Schleswigsches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 86
Reserve Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 9
Reserve-Husaren-Regiment Nr. 7
Reserve-Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 18
1.Reserve-Kompanie/Schleswig-Holsteinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 9
2.Reserve-Kompanie/Schleswig-Holsteinisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 9
Possibly the unit in bold, as you pointed out, is our man's.
There is a book "Das Königlich Preussische Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 84", published in 1937, on Google Books (Das Königlich Preussische Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 84 - William Speck - Google Books). If you do the snippet search for "Pozieres", you should get three hits (pages v, 112, 113). On page v (contents page) you can see that the Regiment took part in the Battle of the Somme from July 24 to August 10 at Pozieres. The German reads "Schlacht an der Somme (Martinpuich - Pozieres) 24.7. - 10.8. 1916". The dates would fit the date of Kopp's death. I have access to this book at my local library and will take a closer look at it in the next few days.