AN ‘INSPIRATIONAL’ teacher who ‘always put other people first’ has died of cancer at the age of 40.

Mother-of-two Rachel Ambler was described as a ‘determined’ and ‘extremely kind’ person by husband Philip after she lost her 18-month battle.

The Clitheroe Royal Grammar School English teacher even continued with classes until weeks before her death.

Pupils also told of their shock, describing Mrs Ambler as a ‘wonderful lady’.

Mr Ambler 42, said: “Rachel had two passions in life. One was teaching, but first and foremost, was being a mother.

“There are so many different ways I will remember her.

“Even over the last 18 months, she has always put other people first, whether that was family or friends.

“She would do anything for anyone and she never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“We have done so much crying, but the one thing Rachel was very adamant about was while she might not be here physically, she is here every day through our children and nobody can ever take away from us the memories we created.”

Mrs Ambler, who taught for 16 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2012.

Despite undergoing a mastectomy, radiotherapy and two different kinds of chemotherapy, the disease spread to her bones, liver and brain.

She passed away in the Royal Blackburn Hospital on Wednesday surrounded by her family and just days after her 40th birthday.

Mr Ambler, of Barker Lane, Mellor, said he and the children Elspeth, seven, and Alisdair, four, would now remember the keen walker by taking hiking trips to her favourite places.

The field support manager said: “Rachel always said life goes on.

“She loved walking and drinking coffee and eating cake.

“Cancer takes over the majority of your life, but Rachel was determined it was not going to take over all of her life.

“Not many people actually knew she was so ill.

“She did not want people to feel sorry for her and she did not want any of her friends to be upset.

“She was thinking about everybody else. That is what it has always been like.”

He added that his wife had always dreamed of being a teacher at the Clitheroe school.

Mr Ambler, who married his wife 13 years ago, said: “It was a bit of a thing for her.

“She always said if ever a job came up, she would want to teach there.

“Rachel always loved teaching. It was always about the children.

“People say they go the extra mile, but she did.

“She did not like to think she had failed them, so even when sometimes they were written off by others, she was determined she would do her best.

“Rachel had some tough classes, kids with problems at home, but she liked that.

“She liked in part the challenge.”

Mr Ambler praised head teacher Judith Child for her and other collegues support during his wife’s illness.

Pupils have also taken to social networking sites to express their grief at Mrs Ambler’s death.

One wrote on Twitter: “Another one undeservedly taken. RIP Mrs Ambler, will always remember that class.”

Another said: “Rest in peace to one of the best teachers I have had. Love you Mrs Ambler.”

And another pupil wrote: “What awful, awful news! Rest in peace Mrs Ambler! Such a wonderful lady.”

Mrs Ambler’s funeral will be held at St Francis’ Church, Feniscowles, Blackburn, on Monday (January 27) from 12.30pm.