Yet a verbal broadside he delivered in 1901 was to spawn one of the Submarine Service's most loved and deeply ingrained traditions - the flying of the Jolly Roger flag to mark the victorious return from a successful patrol.
Horton, recalling Admiral Wilson's words, told his signaller to sew a piratical Jolly Roger flag, which flew proudly from his boat's periscope as she sailed into Harwich, Essex.
And in the Second World War the Jolly Roger tradition was resurrected by the Navy with gusto.
But veterans say their hearts always soared when they ran up a Jolly Roger.
Residents have always remembered their submarine and this summer Epping council flew a Jolly Roger above its buildings to mark the 70th anniversary of her sinking.
More recently HMS Splendid and HMS Turbulent's Jolly Roger flags featured tomahawks after they launched cruise missile attacks during the Iraq War.
One of the most lethal advances that the Jolly Rogers have seen is the new Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System.
The new Jolly Rogers Super Hornet cockpits have also been modified for the advanced crew station (ACS) design.
After 30 years of flying F-14 Tomcats, the VFA-103 Jolly Rogers have gotten off to a successful start as the first squadron to transition from Tomcat to the Super Hornet at NAS Oceana, Va.
The Jolly Rogers name and traditions were passed on when VF-17 was redesignated VF-5B on 15 November 1946 and then redesignated again as VF-61 on 28 July 1948.
In 1996 the VF-103 Jolly Rogers became the first Tomcat unit to deploy with the low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night system that provides a precision ground attack capability to the F-14 community.
The author is grateful to Cdrs, Gary Williams, Craig Roll (former CO) and Dave Landess; Lieutenant Commander Tony DeSmet and all VF-103 Jolly Rogers officers and enlisted personnel.