SIR Winston Churchill was one of the most recognisable figures of the last 100 years but many may fail to spot the great wartime leader in these rare photos that were unearthed in Cirencester.

Taken between the ages of 13 and 17, the photographic plates, which were discovered in a Cirencester dairy farm in 2012 along with 90,000 other negatives, show the former prime minister as a pupil at Harrow in the late 1800s.

It is thought that the images are among the oldest surviving photographs of Churchill, who died aged 90 in 1965.

Peter Boswell, managing director of Save Photo, has been overseeing the restoration of the photographs.

“We have been lovingly inspecting each photographic plate to ensure it is carefully cleaned, recorded and stored in high quality archival sleeves,” he said.

“With the First World War centenary events beginning this year, I am delighted that we have been able to add these amazing lost images to the portfolio of known Churchill images.”

In one of the photos, Churchill can be seen posing in military attire as a member of the Harrow School Rifle Corps, a school society offering pupils military experience.

Another shows Churchill, who was considered an underachiever as an adolescent, kneeling in front of the head teacher’s house at the prestigious London boarding school.

Once restored, the photographs are expected to be sold at auction later in the year.