HUNDREDS of pupils have paid tribute to a much-loved teacher who died of bowel cancer, aged just 27.
Edward Dingwall was a history teacher at Berkhamsted School for three years after gaining his teaching qualification.
The Facebook group Ed Dingwall Support Page has gained more than 860 members from his students, fellow teachers and friends since his death.
Former Berkhamsted School student Edan Foulgham-Levene writes on the page wall: “I was fortunate enough to have Ed as a teacher through AS and A2 history.
“I have to say he was not only one of the nicest teachers I’ve ever met, but also one of the nicest people.
“Some of my very fondest school memories are of that class.”
In a statement on the page, Ed’s parents Howard and Liz and brother James say people’s letters, thoughts and prayers have been of “great comfort” to them.
The three write: “We are hugely touched by this page, which is a superb and beautiful way of showing your support and we are sure will act as an online memorial to him.
“It was Ed’s wish that we should let people know he was ill when he had been properly diagnosed.
“He wanted to leave them with positive news about how he was going to battle the illness.
“Indeed, in his words: ‘It’s a bit like being 3-0 down at half time to Bloxham; I want to be able tell everyone how we’re going to turn this around!’
“Sadly, it wasn’t to be, and he was told last week of the severity of his condition and that he faced an impossible fight.
“Some of his friends were able to visit in time, and they were shining representatives for all of you.
“As many of you will know, Ed loved teaching history, coaching sport and most importantly encouraging young people.
“We certainly feel privileged to have known him as parents and as a brother. It appears that all of you did, too!”
Mr Dingwall, affectionately known as Dingers by his students, left the school in July last year to become a teacher at St Edwards School in Oxford.
Not long afterwards, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and he died on Sunday, March 18.
Berkhamsted School has set up the Dingwall Cup – an academic award for special effort in history for Years 7 to 9 – in his memory .
There will be a school memorial service in his name on Friday, June 1, and a cricket game in his honour on Sunday, June 24.
Berkhamsted School principal Mark Steed said: “Edward Dingwall was an outstanding teacher in every respect.
“We were sad when the time came for Edward to move on from Berkhamsted, such was the contribution he had made to the school community at so many levels.
“To then find out about his serious illness, followed shortly by the news that he had passed away, was a devastating shock for both pupils and staff.
“The Dingwall History Cup will ensure the memory of this much-loved young teacher will live on for future generations of pupils at the school.”