Finally, after quite a few letters (e-mails really, but I still think of them as letters) I've managed to obtain my Great Grandfather's service record from his time in the Royal Marine Artillery. All I have to do now is work out how to read it as it is in beautiful copperplate handwriting and some of it barely decipherable.
As far as I can tell at a quick glance he enlisted in 1881, when he was 19 years old, and was invalided out in 1896 when he was 33. During that time he met my Great Grandmother (1884) and my grandmother was born in Portsea, Portsmouth in 1892. He died in Spalding, Lincolnshire in 1901 very young and very suddenly, as there was an inquest held. That's my next job, find out how and why.
Once I've finished with him I have two grandfathers to chase up, both serving in WW1, and I already nhave my father's records from his time in WW2 when he served the whole period on the flower class corvette, "HMS Pennywort", pootling backwards and forwards across the Atlantic with a foray to the Normandy beaches. For those interested, HMS Pennywort features in Martin Middlebrook's book, Convoy. Unfortunately my father was due to be interviewed by him but died before it could happen.
This family tree stuff is intriguing. Reference my Great Grandfather again, he died as I said in 1901, but his widow had two children after that, the last in 1905! I wonder if they knew?