Phyllis Gwendolyn Smeed was born on 16 August 1921 in Dormansland, Surrey, England. She was the daughter of Charles Smeed 3rd and Frances Tester Smeed. Phyllis married Harold Knowles on 19 July 1941 in Dormansland.
Phyllis came to St. Thomas, Ontario with her two young daughters, Mary and Betty, in 1946 as a war bride. Two sons, Bill and John, were born once Phyllis and Harold were in Canada.
Phyllis died on 15 June 1995 in St. Thomas.