Thank you - thank you Frogsmile for your full and interesting answer.
I don' know what this Forum would do without your knowledgeable insight
My great grandparents were married in Woolwich in fact, a couple of months before he was drafted to India - I suspect he could see which way the wind was blowing!
Even on a gunner's wages, could they have had the lifestyle you describe? At that time (circa 1880), would they have been living in married quarters (bungalow?) or behind a blanket in a cornered off part of the barrack room?
Glad to help Susan, I answered your query regarding furlough too.
In 1880 your GGF pay was limited and marital allowances did not yet exist (the 2nd Anglo/Boer war 1899-1902 marked the change to better terms and conditions) so things would have been tough, but even so a private soldier/gunner would have been able to afford an adult servant and a child servant (frequently related), which would have been inconceivable at home.
In Britain, there would indeed have been a blanketed corner of a barrack room, or in more enlightened stations a few barrack blocks set aside specifically for the married families (marginally better), whereas in India they were allocated a rudimentary bungalow, albeit greatly inferior to that allocated to more senior ranks. Nevertheless, it was a start and with a degree of privacy that must have been seen as a step up from life in Victorian Britain.
P.S. I enlisted and attested at Blackheath in the early 1970s and lived in the RA Barracks at Woolwich between 1995-96. There is no doubt that I walked around and paraded on the same 'Front Parade' as he would have known well, sadly shortly to be sold off.