Welded steel mesh has been widely utilised in underground coal mines for surface control for a long time. Previous studies on its behaviour were mainly conducted on relatively small sections of mesh in the laboratory. In this paper full scale pull tests on two types of welded steel mesh were performed in the laboratory, with the load-displacement response recorded. In addition to the laboratory tests numerical modelling was also completed. Weld shear tests together with tensile and bend tests on steel wires were also undertaken to provide the input parameters and other relevant information for the numerical models. It was found that the load-displacement curves generated by the physical tests and numerical models matched well. The platen used to pull the mesh was a dome like seat rather than the commonly used flat plate. The influence of the two types of platen on mesh behaviour was investigated numerically, the results showed that the flat plate yielded greater load at first wire failure but for all practical purpose a similar load-displacement curve.