A mother and member of staff at St John’s School, Marlborough, has died aged 54 after a long battle with cancer.

Alison Jane Saddler, known as Ali, died at home with her daughter Florence at her side on Sunday, December 8.

Tributes in her memory have described the mother-of-one as someone who had an "indomitable spirit” and who was “enthusiastic, positive and elegant”.

Mrs Saddler, nee Godfrey, worked at St John’s School as an administrator in student services and in the modern foreign languages department. She took part in the teachers’ choir at the carol concert and was popular among staff.

In tribute, headmaster Patrick Hazlewood said: “To the end Ali showed that indomitable spirit that was so characteristic of her.

“Her engaging personality and interest in others were aspects that made her so much a part of the teams that she worked with and endeared her to them. She could never do enough for others.

“We will miss her but Ali would be the first to say, remember the good times and celebrate her time with us.”

Mrs Saddler was born in Swindon and attended Lawn Infant and Junior School, and then Churchfields Comprehensive School. Having trained as a hotel receptionist, Mrs Saddler’s first job was at the Post House Hotel, Swindon before moving on to Storm Management Services to work in recruitment.

Mrs Saddler met and married Fyfe Saddler while he worked for Castrol in Swindon. However, they met because her brother was married to Mr Saddler’s sister.

It was then that her adventurous overseas life began as the couple moved to Malaysia, then on to Vienna, where she gave birth to her only daughter Florence in 1992.

The family then moved on to live in Dubai, Kenya, Scotland and Antigua. Finally in 2006 the family moved back to Wiltshire, where they bought their home in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

In 2010 Mrs Saddler lost her husband, but continued to enjoy life to the fullest with Florence.

“Mummy was always fun, friendly, happy and kind,” said Miss Saddler, 21, who is studying medicine at the University of East Anglia, but who has taken a year out to help look after her mother.

“She was always interested in people, easygoing and approachable. “She was enthusiastic, had a positive outlook and always had a sense of occasion; she always dressed well, looked elegant and beautiful. “She brought joy and laughter into the lives of everyone she came in contact with.

“She was the best mother and best friend to me.

“In the last year of her illness, none of these qualities changed. She remained positive and still enjoyed life to the fullest.

“She received so much support and help from family and friends, but also especially from her neighbours and colleagues at school, who came in to do the gardening, made dinners for us, walked our dog and visited and called daily.”

Her funeral will be held on Monday at 9.30am and will take place at St Mary’s Church, Marlborough. Refreshments will then be served at The Assembly Halls at Marlborough Town Hall. All are welcome.