The sulky schoolboy who became Britain's great wartime leader: Earliest surviving original images of Winston Churchill are released

Seven extremely rare photographs of Churchill have been restored and rescued from a barn in Cirencester

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The Independent Online

Many consider him to have been Britain's greatest ever leader.

The man who led the country through the Second World War with a steely, determined and unflinching optimism.

New images released this week show a different side to Winston Churchill, however, hinting at a rather sulky schoolboy persona.

Seven extremely rare photographs of Churchill have been restored and rescued from a barn in Cirencester.

The seven glass plate negatives show Churchill between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time he attended the Harrow School.

They were part of a massive haul of over 90,000 photographs documenting every staff member and pupil from Harrow School between 1860 and 1965 and were discovered by Save Photo, a scanning and digital asset development company.

Earliest surviving original images of Winston Churchill released

The company claims they are the earliest surviving original images of the man who would become Britain's wartime Prime Minister.

The images were discovered among the Hills and Saunders Harrow Collection, which the company was contracted to digitise.

The collection was originally found in a poor condition in the dairy barn of a farm outside Cirencester in 2012.

The private owner and Save Photo rescued the collection and relocated it to a secure and climate controlled storage at Save Photo’s headquarters in Warwickshire.

Save Photo are carefully cleaning, cataloguing, storing and digitising the images for future digital consumers to enjoy.

The photographers, Hills and Saunders were responsible between 1860 and 1970 for capturing memorable images of Harrow schoolboys, their families and the beautiful surroundings of this prestigious institution.

Six of the images are from The Head Master’s House ‘Welldon’ group photographs and one photograph features Churchill in the Harrow School Rifle Corp.

In the group photographs Churchill can be seen depicted through his years alternating between unhappiness and contentedness, reflecting the statesman’s varied attitude towards his school years; though he didn’t excel at school, he revisited Harrow many times.

In a hint of his future role as PM during World War II one image shows him dressed in the uniform of Harrow School Rifle Corps.